Synopsis by Mark Deming
A family takes some very unusual steps to help their son in this documentary from filmmaker Michel Orion Scott. Rupert Isaacson and Kristen Neff first met when they were both traveling through India; Rupert was an activist representing the rights of indigenous peoples in the Third World, while Kristen was a college professor with a degree in psychology. While Rupert and Kristen expected that their nomadic life might change when they married and had a child, they weren't quite prepared for what happened when their son, Rowan Isaacson, was diagnosed with autism. Rowan was given to long periods of sullen withdrawal and sudden bursts of rage that no form of therapy seemed to help, and by the time he was five his parents were running out of ideas when they discovered the boy had a close bond with animals. Rupert discovered a band of shamans in Mongolia who claimed to be able to heal autism, and so he joined Rowan and Kristen for a journey in which they would travel across the country on horseback to meet the holy men who might be able to help the child. Director Scott and a small camera crew joined the family on their voyage, and Over the Hills and Far Away allows viewers to watch as Rupert and Kristen search out a way to help their son connect with the world at large. Over the Hills and Far Away received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.
autism, bonding [relationship], healer, horse, horseback-riding, journey, Mongolia, Shamanism, son