Autism: Life Beyond Diagnosis and Limitations

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MOVIE REVIEW
You Have No Idea

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Genre: Documentary
Year Released: 2023
Runtime: 1h 26m
Director(s): Alexander Jeffery
Where To Watch: available On Demand, April 2, 2024; previously shown July 1, 2023, at Dances with Film


RAVING REVIEW: Not all that long ago, our grasp of Autism was anything but straightforward. This film visits Evan James and his mom Beth; Evan was diagnosed with Autism in the early 90s arrived in an era when adequate support was anything but readily available. Beth, refusing to accept the tunnel-vision advice from the medical guild, decided to go off-script. Rather than limiting Evan, she set out on a daring odyssey to craft a vibrant and meaningful life for her son, loaded with enriching experiences and joy.


Autism is now known as a spectrum disorder, as intricate and varied as each individual. While we have more understanding and evolved understanding, Beth and Evan’s story developed when Autism wasn’t studied like it is today. Even with scarce resources, Beth’s unwavering resilience rewrote the story for Evan, crafting a heartrending tale of love, unity, and the magic of what empathy means.

This documentary disrupts the monotony of the standard, offering an intimate look into the lives of Evan and Beth. The narrative, as sincere and genuine as a documentary should be, draws from the lived experiences of this resilient duo and their supportive community, family, and friends, leaving a lasting impression on the audience.

The film presents an honest portrayal of life with Autism, good, bad, and everything in between. It skilfully captures the daily lives of Evan, Beth, and those who are part of their journey, capturing intricate details that make you feel like you’re part of their world. Beth’s undying determination to craft a fulfilling life for Evan when Autism comprehension and assistance were sorely lacking serves as a poignant testament to the transformative power of motherly love.

The film focuses on the family’s hurdles and their passion for overcoming them. You will be pulled into this story, Evan has such resilience, and it’s contagious. He knows what he wants and isn’t afraid to let others know, showing the world around him that while he has limitations, he also excels at other aspects of life—defying the odds and showing his core family, friends, and doctors that he’s more than any diagnosis.

In the final act, the film provides a deeply affecting panorama of Evan James and Beth’s epic journey. It charts the evolution of Autism understanding and treatment from the 90s to the present day, offering a unique perspective. A tribute to the omnipotence of love, the film beautifully merges raw emotions, resilience, unity, and a celebration of the unyielding human spirit. Like a perfectly captured shot, the narrative encapsulates the tenacious spirit of a mother, her son, and a community that stands together through every scene, take, and retake.

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[photo courtesy of GOOD DEED ENTERTAINMENT, BESPOKE WORKS]

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For more reviews, please visit https://linktr.ee/overlyhonestmr.

You can follow me on Letterboxd, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. You can also find my social media accounts on most platforms by searching Overly Honest Movie Reviews.

I’m always happy to hear from my readers; please say hi or send me any questions about movies.

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