Arts and Culture

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. Denver Film Festival
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."

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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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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