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Documentary Weaves Autistic World With Disney Animation At Stamford's Avon

A scene from 'Life, Animated'
A scene from 'Life, Animated' Photo Credit: Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn. — The Avon Theatre in Stamford will bring together the real-life vision of a documentary with the fantasy world of animated films with a special screening on Wednesday.

The Avon will show the full-length documentary "Life, Animated," the inspirational story of Owen Suskind, a young autistic man who was unable to speak as a child until he and his family discovered a unique way to communicate by immersing themselves in the world of classic Disney animated films.

The screening will be at at 7:30 p.m.

Purchase tickets online at www.avontheatre.org . Ticket prices are: Carte Blanche Members: free, Members: $7, Students & Seniors: $9, Nonmembers: $12.

"Life, Animated" is from Academy Award-winning director Roger Ross Williams. This emotional coming-of-age story follows Owen as he graduates to adulthood and takes his first steps toward independence.

The subject of his father Ron Suskind’s New York Times bestseller, Owen was a thriving 3-year-old who suddenly and inexplicably went silent – and for years after remained unable to connect with other people or to convey his thoughts, feelings or desires.

Over time, through repeated viewings of Disney classics such as "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King," Owen found useful tools to help understand complex social cues and to re-connect with the world around him.

"Life, Animated" evocatively interweaves classic Disney sequences with verite scenes from Owen’s life in order to explore how his identification and empathy for characters such as Simba, Jafar, and Ariel gave him a means to understand his feelings and allowed him to interpret reality.

Beautiful, original animations offer rich insights into Owen’s fruitful dialogue with the Disney oeuvre as he imagines himself heroically facing adversity as a member in a tribe of sidekicks. Owen’s story is a moving testament to the many ways in which stories can serve as a means of persevering through the dark times, leading us all toward the light.

The movie is rated PG and is 89 minutes long.

The Avon Theatre is a member-supported, nonprofit cultural hub, dedicated to presenting film in its highest form. It is located 272 Bedford St., Stamford.

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