Hot Docs 2014: A Different Kind of Boy Review

A Different Kind of Boy

A Different Kind of Boy

Made in Denmark

The Danish documentary A Different Kind of Boy isn’t even an hour long, and yet it manages to exude charm, elicits genuine anxiety, and presents a complete, complex picture of a boy with autism and his brother’s attempt to bond with him.

Essentially divided into two parts, the film follows the autistic Alexander, as he gets used to living independently in his new house. Ulrik Wivel takes time getting to know Alexander, never intervening with voiceover to frame his quirks and ticks. The most exposition given are well designed title cards giving context to locations or events.

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By the time Alexander’s brother surprises him on his eighteenth birthday with the promise of a trans-European road trip to Barcelona for a soccer match, you are going to naturally feel the anxious tension that that kind of exciting event will add to the life of a boy like this.

Autism is a popular subject in the media, and it’s notoriously difficult topic to broach, but by using an expert sense of pacing the film allows for an aesthetically pleasing and rare look through an empathetic window into the life of a young man. (Peter Counter)

Screens

Monday, April 28th, Scotiabank 7, 7:30pm

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Wednesday, April 30th, TIFF Bell Lightbox 4, 5:00pm

Friday, May 2nd, ROM, 2:00pm

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