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Temple Grandin (2010)Temple Grandin (2010)

Claire Danes stars in this HBO bio-drama about the famous autism activist and animal scientist Temple Grandin (born 1947). The film has won numerous Emmy's and Golden Globes. Grandin herself helped to make the movie, and her running commentary about its production in the "special features" after the end of the film are even better than the movie itself. There she affirms just how well the cinematography captures what it's like to grow up autistic — the lack of sensory "filters," extreme sensitivity to sound and light, the social awkwardness and isolation, and extreme frustrations on the part of Temple's mother. Grandin didn't speak until she was four. Although school was horribly frustrating, she was exceptionally smart, and at each step of the way she was lucky enough to have understanding teachers. Grandin is famous for having devised the "hug machine," which is still used today. For many years she has been a professor at Colorado State University. I highly recommend this film as a way to increase one's understanding of and empathy for people with autism.

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