Saturday, November 30, 2013

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Last night, my husband and I watched the film Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. My mother had recommended I watch it, months ago. I think I'm glad I waited until I understood Autism better. My reaction to the character was so intense as I releated and as I understood autism. I cried as I recognized what I would do, like when Oskar said such an unkind thought to his mother outloud. It wasn't from malace that he said it. He meant it yes, but couldn't stop himself from saying a truth his heart was struggling with. Had I said it, I would have crawled away and hid under my bed, silently begging forgiveness but unable to accept it. I would have been outwardly paying a penance for the rest of my life. 

I loved the movie. I loved how recognizable, to my eyes, the similarities of his behavior was to my own childhood inner world. The tamborine was a brilliant tool to distract him and ground him back into reality when the sensory processing became too much. I wish I had made that scrapbook he put together. His obsessions were definitely more male based and I was wishing to see a feminine version of how it would play out (I think most autism testing is based on a male model which is often manifested differently in females). 

I'm hoping in the future that when schools are discussing neurological differences to their students, that they use this film as a way to help others understand and accept something that cannot be helped. That sometimes, the person is doing the very best they can with what tools they have been given and with what they have been taught. All I can hear is Oksar's plea at the end of the film to his mother that he was "trying so hard". His mother's acceptance of him whole-y is beautiful. 

Please, educate yourself on mild autism and watch the film. Your character perspective will vastly change and the film will be much more watchable than otherwise. The panning of the film by critics shows a lack of understanding for this nuerological challenge autistics go through on a daily bases. It's a beautiful, haunting film. 

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