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Temple Grandin (2010, English)

Director: Mick Jackson (107 mins)

Reviews: RottenTomatoes (100%), IMDB (8.3), Wikipedia, Amazon.

Similar movies: biopic, illness, true story.

Summary: A touching and inspiring true life story of an autistic woman named Temple Grandin who overcame a series of challenges to become a Professor in Colorado State University. Temple had an aptitude for science. She did a Ph.D. in Animal Husbandry, designing cattle ranch systems for humane treatment of animals which also improved profitability. By the time I'd finished watching the movie, I had been moved to tears a few times. I also felt humbled and inspired. Acting is superb.

1. The movie shows three aspects of Temple's autism really well: how her mind is different from others, the challenges she faces in social interactions and techniques she uses to soothe herself when she's stressed. She invented the 'hug machine' or 'squeeze box' at age eighteen, which is now popular among autistic kids who do not like to be touched by people. Many scenes show how Temple processes visual and audio input: as a series of inter-connected pictures, whose details remain in her mind forever. These abilities enable her understand how animals process information, helping her design cattle ranch equipment and processes.

2. The movie does not make Temple look more human-like than she really is. Sci-fi and anime movies imbue everybody from animals, plants, vehicles, bots and aliens with human like feelings and sensitivity. Temple Grandin remains Temple Grandin throughout the movie. She is unable to connect emotionally to people. That is how she always has been.

3. The movie shows Temple's doggedness in pursuing projects in the real world. She will not take 'no' for an answer, despite her social awkwardness. A memorable quote from the movie, which Temple uses many times to overcome hurdles: “Think of something as a door, a door that is going to open up onto a whole new world for you. And all you need to do is decide to go through it.” Temple applies this mantra multiple times. The movie is worth watching for these scenes alone!

Temple also gave a TED talk: The World Needs All Kinds of Minds.

 

1 Jan 2013
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