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Why every parent should see the documentary “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 Patrick A. Coleman

The experience of parents raising children who are affected by genetic disorders is often fetishized in various media as a source of inspiration. It seems you can’t raise a child with autism or down syndrome without being labeled as brave or strong. And sure, many of those parents do have those qualities, but when we fail to acknowledge their guilt, sadness, and anger, we dehumanize them in an essential way. The new documentary Far From the Tree, based on the best selling book of the same name by Andrew Solomon, does just the opposite. It shows us the reality of raising a child vastly different from oneself, with all it’s less championed emotions and reveals both the sorrow and the beauty of families faced with genetic diversity. As such, it should be required viewing for parents everywhere.

&hellip: You don’t leave the film thinking, “Gee I wish I could be as strong and brave as those parents.” You walk away thinking, “I’m determined to love my kid, with all of their faults and flaws, that much more.” Because as Solomon points out, it’s not our suffering that’s unique as families, it’s our happiness.

(To read the full review, please visit Fatherly.)