. . . In Far from the Tree, we have a documentary film that shows how difference can fashion identity, often a defective one that derives from narrow, biased individual and social perspectives – when we overly value the conventional and the commonplace. Through this film, we follow the lives of people who are different, and their families; these drive the documentary’s narrative and capture our hearts. We witness the demands upon families with a truly different child. And we learn that the only successful path for Far from the Tree families, one that can realize transcendence, is taken in incremental steps, with relentless and sustained effort, and with patience (except when unbending institutions demand they be impatient). We see how a family with a quite different child embarks on a journey that is undertaken with love and insists upon keeping hope alive. In other words, the film shines a bright light not just on these different families: It also portrays a more universal vision and offers a map for all of us seeking to discover the wonder of others.
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