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Weekend in Moscow: Oscar-Nominated ‘Life Animated’ on Show

Life, Animated (2016 Life, Animated (2016

This weekend Moscow audiences have the chance to explore how the world is experienced by autistic people. “Life Animated,” a remarkable film by Roger Ross Williams, will be screening at the Center of Documentary Cinema through Thursday next week.

The film, which has been nominated for best documentary feature at the Oscars, is based on a family memoir of the same name by a Pulitzer Prize-winning political journalist Ron Suskind.

Suskind’s son Owen was diagnosed as autistic aged three and watching Disney films provided a way for him to connect his world with that of his parents. He learned to read from the credits and his first attempt at verbal communication was by watching a scene from “The Little Mermaid.”

The film meets Owen in his early twenties. While he continues to love everything Disney, he is also negotiating the challenges of any young person: moving out, finding a job and navigating his friendships and relationships. 

It’s a touching film that doesn’t try to over-sentimentalize the challenges Owen and his family face, and well worth a watch for the educational value alone.

Showing through December 15.

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