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autism, film, cinema, representation, media
Be it the cooky sidekick or the awkward genius - mainstream media has seen many variations of the autistic character. While some tend to be more realistic than others, it is impossible to accurately represent the personality and abilities of every single individual on the spectrum. However, it is imperative that the producers said media try. In this essay, I will explore the perception of persons with Autism in society, through the lens of mainstream cinema. I will utilize the perspective provided by Naoki Higashida’s groundbreaking work ‘The Reason I Jump’ and use it as a guide to analyze various pieces of media with regard to their treatment of characters with Autism. For the purpose of this paper, I will be analyzing media from two geographical zones - the United States and India. The findings indicate that not only is there a noticeable distinction between the types of representation, there exist specific steps which can and should be taken to achieve an authentic portrayal.
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