When I first heard about this film I wasn’t very interested. I thought, “A film about an autistic woman who works with animals? I think I’ll pass.” Fortunately, we had gotten the movie on the recommendation of my aunt, and I didn’t really have that much of a choice. We were going to watch the film.
I’m glad I did.
Temple Grandin is the true story of a woman and her family who would not let autism get in her way. The film covers her journey through higher education and on to a successful career.
The film portrays her struggles in a world that she sees through pictures. She’s unlike everyone else because all she understands are those pictures, and she has difficulties understanding things that can’t be pictured. The first person she finds who is like her is her blind college room-mate who interprets her whole world through sounds.
In the end, however, Grandin finds that her autism gives her a unique view on animals. She can very easily think as they think and, using this ability, she is able to construct a more humane way of dealing with cattle heading for the slaughterhouse.
The film also has a very good message, which I think is best summed up in Grandin’s own words: “Different, but not less.” I think this is something that is very important for us all to keep in mind. God has created all people in His own image, and He gives all of us our own quirks and differences. Some people’s differences are more noticeable than others, but that is not a reason to treat them as lower than we are or to look down on then. Being created in the image of God gives all human life dignity and we need to remember that as we deal with people.
The acting in the film was excellent. Though some characters were better than others, there really weren’t any that made me cringe. The actors portraying the disabled people were especially good.
The storyline was also good. After all, it was true!
There were a couple instances of language, as well as some images which might be potentially disturbing to young children. On the whole, however, this was a pretty clean film.
There was also one other thing. I almost didn’t mention this, but in the film it came up several times. During the course of the film, Grandin deals with death several times. Being autistic, it’s very hard for her to conceptualize things she can’t see, so every time she sees something die she asks the question, “Where does it go?” She can see that the thing that was once there, life, is now gone and she wants to know where it went. Unfortunately, this issue is never really dealt with. Her friends usually brush the question off by saying they don’t know.
Now obviously this wasn’t a Christian film, so I probably wouldn’t have agreed with any answer given, but I think if the film had been made by Christians it would have been an excellent time to weave in a message about heaven and life after death.
Again, a very minor detail that I personally would have changed.
This film was an amazing testimony to the fact that people with disabilities are “different, but not less” than other people. A very powerful story with an excellent message.