Directed by: Jerry Rothwell
Written by: Naoki Higashida
Starring: Amrit Khurana, Joss Dear, Emma Budway, Benjammin McGann, Jim Fujiwara
An emotional insight into the lives of several individuals across the globe who live with autism.
This informative and intriguing documentary is based on the book of the same name by Japanese author Naoki Higashida, who wrote it at the age of thirteen and was diagnosed with severe autism when he was five. The book was published in 2007, became a bestseller and has been translated in over thirty languages. This success resulted in the creation of the critically acclaimed, award-winning documentary.
Basically the feature is separated into chapters, each of which focuses on an autistic individual. These individuals are all youths and they live in various countries, such as England, United States, India and Sierra Leone. The audience looks into their lives, observes the challenges they face and how they behave and interact with their surroundings.
Apart from the ones with autism, the documentary also shows their family members, who are interviewed and share their experiences regarding what it is like living with a person who has such a condition. Among the interviewees is David Mitchell, who helped translate Higashida's book. There are also frequent sequences that include actor Jim Fujiwara, who portrays Higashida as a child, as he walks in the countryside.
There is voice-over throughout by Jordan O'Donegan as he recites passages from the book. Listening to his words helps bring the viewer into the world of people with autism.
There are beautiful sequences of slow motion and composer Nainita Desai does a remarkable contribution with the powerful and moving score, creating the right atmosphere. David Charap's editing is very well executed, making effective use of fast cutting and Ruben Woodin Dechamps develops terrific cinematography.
The Reason I Jump is a touching documentary, which explores autism. It shows how autistic people behave and communicate and by presenting autistic individuals from around the world, from different backgrounds and nationalities, it proves that this disorder can affect anyone.