The life-affirming FAR FROM THE TREE, based on Andrew Solomon’s award-winning bestselling non-fiction book Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, could be a companion piece to WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? – its about what it means to be family, and above all, about love, no matter what.
Rachel Dretzin’s FAR FROM THE TREE deftly and unobtrusively discovers the courage and compassion of families meeting extraordinary challenges as they move to accept their one-of-a-kind kids. It’s an intimate, profoundly human look at families raising children who society deems “abnormal”: a mother and son determined to show the world that Down syndrome does not define him; a couple learning to communicate with their bright but nonverbal autistic son; a young woman dealing with what it means to be the only little person in her family; and parents whose deep love for their son persists even after he has committed an unspeakable crime. And Andrew Solomon’s own story plays out, between segments, sometimes bridging the other tales. This life-affirming documentary encourages us to cherish loved ones for all they are, not who they might have been.
(US / 2018 / Directed by Rachel Dretzin)
Unrated / 1 hr 33 mins.