Home Uncategorized Five notable films that championed neurodivergence – The Indian Express

Five notable films that championed neurodivergence – The Indian Express

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Five notable films that championed neurodivergence – The Indian Express

Far from saccharine-filled scripts that have neurodivergent protagonists, these are films layered with empathy, authenticity and spunk.
Harry Potter and Fantastic Beasts series (2016-)
Luna Lovegood, who appears in four films in the Harry Potter series, has been seen as relatable by many autistic persons. Luna, played by Evanna Lynch, is something of an outlier —mysterious, mystical, and what non-neurodivergent people may call ‘quirky’. In the Fantastic Beasts series, Newt Scamander, played by Eddie Redmayne, has also been read as an autistic character.
15 Park Avenue (2005)
Directed by Aparna Sen, with a cast that includes Shabana Azmi, Konkona Sen Sharma, Waheeda Rehman and Dhritiman Chatterjee, 15 Park Avenue is the story of Meethi who is schizophrenic. She believes that her family lives at a non-existent address in Kolkata, 15 Park Avenue, a place that becomes the focal point of the film. The National Award-winning film follows the protagonist’s life down an empathetic and affirmative route.
Temple Grandin (2010)
Directed by Mick Jackson, the award-winning biopic is based on Temple Grandin, an autistic person who revolutionised practices of handling livestock on cattle ranches and slaughterhouses in America and is currently a professor of animal science at Colorado State University. Claire Danes plays Grandin. Temple Grandin could be reminiscent of A Beautiful Mind (2001), based on mathematician John Nash who was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia.
Iron Man series (2008-)
This superhero is more than his suit. The endless tinkering around, the itch to innovate and the adrenaline addiction point out that Tony Stark/Iron Man is the poster boy of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Marvel has never explicitly stated that Stark has ADHD, but neurodivergent audiences have been able to recognise the traits. Stark has high IQ, can be easily bored and distracted, but can also be hyper focused, and leads the MCU in out-of-the-box thinking. Not to mention that his ADHD peaks when his loved ones are in trouble.
Margarita with a Straw (2014)
Kalki Koechlin stars as Laila Kapoor, a teenager who goes her share of joys and heartaches to learn more about her sexual identity. Kapoor is a person with cerebral palsy, a character that has received praise for its depiction. The film won accolades for a sensitive portrayal of neurodivergence, and for normalising it.
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