slider top 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 Glenn Kenny

… The film’s opening features soundbites from a number of differently abled individuals, all of whom we get to know more fully as the movie goes on. … Near the end, Solomon says that he used to agree with Tolstoy’s formulation, in the first line of Anna Karenina, that all happy families were alike but each unhappy family was unhappy in its own way. Now, he’s dazzled by “all the different ways people find to be happy.” That, of course, is a measure of social progress — in Tolstoy’s time, a child that was too “different” would be locked away, shunned, exiled, and that family could pretend to happiness or succumb to a shame that society would at least partially deny. People can find ways to be happy now because they have more choices, more resources. In a world that seems in many respects to be headed to hell in a handbasket, that’s a fact worth celebratig, and this movie does so in an appropriately humane manner.

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