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Eye for Film on “Far from the Tree”

Sundance Selects and Participant Media present Far from the Tree: A Film by Rachel Dretzin. Opening in theaters and VOD July 20, 2018.

By Jennie Kermode

Being born in circumstances that make one an outsider is not an easy thing to cope with. It is, however, a subject often explored in drama and, more recently, in documentary; and in many cases, there are reference points available to help one navigate. This is less true for the parents of such children, and the diversity of their reactions is something that Rachel Dretzin explores in this film, which is based on the book by Andrew Solomon. Taking Solomon’s experience as a starting point — he appears extensively in interview clips — she treads a careful line between the risk of appropriating other people’s struggles and the importance of giving a voice to parents, of understanding that they can struggle too.

… We see that what makes these children so fascinating to others is only part of life for them; Dretzin efficiently captures slices of their lives that reveal them as complex people, even in the case of the boy who is still only 13.

(To read the full review, please visit Eye on Film.)