An immersive cinematic experience of nonspeaking autistic people across the world, The Reason I Jump is based on a book written by Naoki Higashida when he was just 13. The film follows a young Japanese boy on a journey through an epic landscape. As a maelstrom of thoughts, feelings, impulses, and memories affects his every action, he gradually discovers what his autism means to him, how his perception of the world differs from others’, and why he acts the way he does—the reason he jumps.
Fusing Higashida’s revelatory insights with intimate portraits of five remarkable young people, the film opens a door to a magnificent constellation of divergent ways of experiencing reality. Impactful moments in the lives of the characters are woven together with passages from Higashida’s writing, creating a sensually rich tapestry.
Award-winning filmmaker Jerry Rothwell utilizes the potential of cinema to evoke these intense sensory worlds, illustrating Higashida’s core message: not being able to speak does not mean there is nothing to say. With this glorious film, Rothwell speaks volumes.