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Denver Film Festival Must-See Pick for November 2: The Reason I Jump

A scene from The Reason I Jump.
A scene from The Reason I Jump.

Again this year, Denver Film Festival artistic director Matt Campbell is offering his must-see picks for each day of the event, which is largely virtual and continues through November 8. Keep reading to get his take on the selection for November 2: The Reason I Jump.

The Reason I Jump
Directed by Jerry Rothwell
Limited screening: Accessible until 11:45 p.m. November 8.

The Reason I Jump is "a documentary based on a best-selling book by Naoki Higashida, who is a non-verbal autistic," Campbell says. "It's about how he interacts with and experiences the world, and the film uses the book as its narrative voiceover structure."

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Not that the film is riveted to Higashida's viewpoint. As Campbell notes, "it follows five other non-verbal autistic subjects throughout the world, in places such as the U.S., the U.K., South America, Mexico and India. And through cinematography and a focus on light and color and sound, it really puts you into their visual and sensory world. It's also very empathetic and eye-opening, because to them, the way they live isn't a negative thing. It doesn't try to romanticize the condition, but it lets people step outside themselves and, as the old adage goes, walk a mile in someone else's shoes."

To Campbell, Jump exemplifies "our core mission of transforming people's lives through cinema. This film is a really stellar example of that. It knocked my socks off."

Click for ticket information and more details about the 43rd Denver Film Festival, including how to access selections online.

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