The Horse Boy

USA 2009, 93 mins
Director: Michel Orion Scott

Before the film we will screen a short pre-recorded discussion between Rupert Isaacson (Producer/narrator) and Benjamin Brown, series curator.

Reaching the end of their tether, Texas couple Rupert and Kristin whisk their troublesome four-year-old autistic son Rowan across the world in a desperate bid to restore balance to their disorderly lives. A film where nature’s limitless healing properties are foregrounded, the Outer Mongolian steppes serve as the perfect, Zen backdrop for an emotional, near transcendental rite of passage for the family.

This is the first of three relaxed screenings presented in response to The Reason I Jump, programmed by independent curator, Benjamin Brown.

‘Really, our vision of the world can be incredible, just incredible …’ – Naoki Higashida, The Reason I Jump

Whether neuro-diverse or neurotypical, as human beings we are all born with our own unique ways of perceiving the world. However, for many on the autism spectrum, the problem comes when trying to impress that unique perspective onto others through words and gestures. Like a detuned radio, the signal is blocked, coming through only as hissing static.

Channelling several themes explored so effectively by The Reason I Jump, the season expresses the key role of the senses in our everyday lives and the transcendent power of nature to provide consolation to the inconsolable. It also conveys the vital importance of giving autistic people a say in how we are treated, and to extend us our rightful seat at society’s table.

As Naoki so poetically puts it, ‘if, by our being here, we could help the people of the world remember what truly matters for the earth, that would give us a quiet pleasure.’
Benjamin Brown, Series Curator

Director: Michel Orion Scott
Producer: Rupert Isaacson
Cinematographer: Michel Orion Scott
Editor: Rita K. Sanders
Original Music: Kim Carroll, Lili Haydn
Location Sound: Justin Hennard
Sound Mixer: Matt Ludwick

USA 2009
93 mins

This screening is presented in collaboration with Citizen Autistic: The London Autism Film Club, a welcoming neuro-diverse space bringing together like-minded individuals through a shared love of cinema.

Find out more at

BFI Southbank has been awarded the National Autistic Society’s Autism Friendly Award.

The next relaxed screening is
Tue 24 Aug 18:00 NFT3

Relaxed Screenings
Relaxed screenings are presented each month for those in the neuro-diverse community, their assistants and carers. As a result of our Covid Safety plan our relaxed screening adjustments have changed.

  • Seats are currently removed from the auditorium in order to maintain social distancing regulations.
  • Customers can select their seats when they arrive in the auditorium. These are all single seats. Please retain your selected seat for the duration of the performance if possible.
  • If you are exempt from wearing a mask please let us know so that we can implement appropriate safety measures for your comfort and that of those around you. If you are able to wear a facemask please do so throughout your visit.
  • Doors will open 30 minutes before the screening.
  • No trailers will be shown.
  • The programme will be introduced.
  • Our house lights will remain on a low level throughout the screening, and the volume will be turned slightly down.
  • You will be able to leave the auditorium and return by following a one-way system within the building.
  • You will be able to make noise.
  • There will be a safe space to use if you need to leave the auditorium.
  • Please ask us if you need help