Over the Hills and Far Away


Has Been (learn more)

Festival Year

2009 (click here to see all competition films from this year)


Documentary Competition

Non-Cast Credits

Michel Orion Scott, Rupert Isaacson, Rita K. Sanders, Michelle Green, Lili Haydn, Kim Carroll, Justin Hennard, Jeremy Bailey


Over the Hills and Far Away explores one family's unforgettable journey as they travel halfway across the world in search of a miracle to heal their autistic son. This sweeping and emotionally charged story embodies the openness and faith the Isaacson family places in the possibility of trying something extraordinary. Rowan was born in 2001, seven years after his parents met while touring India. His father, Rupert, a British journalist and human-rights activist, and his mother, Kristin, a psychology professor from suburban California, felt the world was their oyster. After their son was diagnosed with autism in 2004, their perfect life began to fall apart. They tried conventional therapies, diets, and medication, all to no avail. Rupert had witnessed the potency of traditional healing and discovered that his son had a special bond with horses. He researched and found a place that combined horseback riding and shamanic healing Mongolia. The next step was convincing his wife they should take their son to Ulaanbaatar and travel on horseback, searching for the elusive reindeer herders and the most powerful shaman in the country. Accompanied by Rupert's honest narration, this rich film blends footage from the family's adventure through the Mongolian countryside with scenes from their life at home in Texas. Bolstered by testimony from autism experts, including Dr. Temple Grandin, this compelling film exquisitely captures an astonishing physical and spiritual journey.


Lisa Viola (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)

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