Great story about a family who decides to take an unconventional method to healing their son. I’ve read the book, which I reviewed in my post Autism Book Review: The Horse Boy. The story is the same although, naturally, abbreviated due to time constraints.

What I liked about the film is putting faces to the names. I’m a visual reader, so I had a fair idea of what everyone looked like from the descriptions in the book. The movie did not disappoint and did a great job especially showing the urban blight in Mongolia. However, the shamanic scenes were less intense in the movie than in the narrative. I also thought the flow of the fim was somewhat disjointed. I attribute that mainly to the difficulty of showing some of what the book was able to explain.

I also liked that it showed the tough times described in the book. As an autism parent I know the part that sucks, and I want other people to understand a little of what we go through every day. This film did that quite well and also showed the intense nature of sensory disruption, another misunderstood aspect of autism.

Some of the reviews I’ve read online state that this film is about an unrealistic intervention and the parents time would have been better spent doing something else. I disagree, and feel that this journey is uniquely their own. They made this decision and it worked for them. The decision to use methods like shamanic magic or extended horseback riding to help someone with autism is a bold one, and worthy of celebration. At the very least the journey brought them together as a family, which is worthy of praise.

I’m giving this one 3 stars out of 5. I like documentaries, but this one has some lulls. Still, if you’re an autism parent and want some inspiration it is definitely worth a watch. You can read more reviews here at Amazon where you can also buy it.

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