Tribeca Film Festival Screens “Autism in Love”

autism in love film

Debuting last week in New York at the Tribeca Film Festival, “Autism in Love” is a documentary film that’s sure to tug on the heartstrings of romantics everywhere. More importantly, it will do so with a heartbreakingly honest look into the romantic lives of people on the autism spectrum.

The movie follows four adult relationships as they emerge and develop for characters Lenny, Stephen, Lindsey, and Dave. Though their stories vary from simply looking for love to contemplating marriage, they all are akin in that one or more of the partners in the relationship are autistic.

Following a recent trend in filmic representation, these subjects are themselves autistic, adding a layer of authenticity to the film. Communication and personality quirks, varying across the individuals, remind audiences of the reality of the disorder, but directors Fuller and Gropa want to emphasize that the documentary is not intended to delve into the science or causes of autism spectrum disorder.

The purpose of “Autism in Love” is not just to entertain or to enlighten, but to teach a lesson in empathy. Says Fuller to Vanity Fair, “This is about really spending time with them and seeing them as individuals, and not their disabilities.” The directors and actors both hope to remind audiences that having a disability does not mean that a person loses the human capacity to feel and love; it just adds another layer of complexity.

Following the film’s premiere, there was an open Q&A to discuss the importance of the film and the process of its development with Fuller and two of the actors.

Read the original Vanity Fair article here.

Written by Sara Power, Fordham University

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