Having now watched the movie, I can confirm that it is deeply upsetting, offensive and nonsensical. This post will explain why.
I did not have space to address this within the slides, but I also listened to the soundtrack and that heightens the offensive saviour narrative that drives this movie. It is a shame, because out of context the songs had potential, but, alas, art cannot (and should not) be separated from its context and I cannot endorse the music or the movie.
All in all, the movie is deeply damaging and I do not recommend watching it, unless you are doing so for advocacy purposes. My advice is to run for the hills (like Sia fled Twitter).
The fact this movie exists and has been nominated for awards such as the Golden Globes is deeply disturbing to me, because it shows how the mockery or exploitation of autistic people and their experiences is not viewed by society as the tragedy it is, and that so much more needs be done for us to be viewed and treated as equal.
But, in some ways I am grateful for this travesty, as it has provided a starting point and catalyst from which we can raise awareness about the autistic experience.
**TW: mistreatment of people with disabilities, racism, drug and alcohol addiction, HIV, physical and emotional abuse, attempted suicide, abandonment, grief, murder and divorce (!)**
DISCLAIMER: I’ve received many comments addressing potential blackface in this movie’s opening scene. I didn’t notice blackface; I thought Maddie looked a little orange in the opening scene, but the lighting and background were orange, so I put it down to lighting. There was so much going on at the start of the movie that my overloaded senses were unable to process everything. I didn’t get a good look at Maddie’s hair, which I now hear was braided. Nobody associated with the movie or its press releases has suggested Music is biracial, so the potential existence of blackface was not in my thoughts, which were focused solely on autism. Blackface is appalling and if this movie has attempted that, then that’s shocking and indefensible.
UPDATE: I’ve written a Part 2 that continues the discussion around this. It is on my profile 🙏🏻