World Autism Awareness Day is a day where Member Countries of the United Nations are encouraged to take measures in raising awareness about people with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and is observed every year on the 2nd of April.
In Malaysia, autism has become a widespread condition, with an estimated 300,000 people in Malaysia on the autism spectrum, according to a New Straits Times report.
It is, however, heartening to see in recent times that more efforts have been done by various sectors of society, including the arts, to raise awareness and encourage inclusion and acceptance of those with the condition.
Here are 5 films on Autism to watch by Asian filmmakers:
The film tells the touching story of an autistic young man who struggles to find a job to support his family, while secretly possessing a gift for music. Directed by Quek Shio Chuan, ‘Guang’ became the first Malaysian film to win the Best Feature Film award at the 59th Asia Pacific Film Festival in Macau.
Upon the discovery that their only son Danial is autistic, Alina and Razlan’s world crumbles as they struggle to confront the harsh realities of raising a child disabled by a condition they hardly knew about. Directed by Tunku Mona Riza, ‘Redha’ won the the Audience Choice Award at the Luang Prabang Film Festival in Laos and a few other notable awards.
My Name Is Khan (2010)
Starring Bollywood superstar Shah Rukh Khan, the film tells the story of an Indian Muslim man who suffers from the Asperger’s syndrome, a form of autism that impacts social interaction abilities. He is arrested mistakenly as a suspected terrorist in post-9/11 Los Angeles, but then begins a journey to meet US President Bush to clear his name.
Malaikat Kecil (2015)
Based on a true story, this is a touching film from Indonesia about an autistic father who simply wants to make his family happy. When the month of Ramadan arrives, he promises to buy his two children new clothes, provided they complete their 30 days of fasting.
Tomorrow Is Another Day (2018)
‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’ is a story about a middle-aged woman struggling to take care of her autistic son for 20 years while discovering that her husband is having an extramarital affair. Directed by Chan Tai-lee, this Hong Kong film stars Teresa Mo and actor Ling Man-lung.