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Fly Away

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Fly Away (2010)

Only available in Canada, United States

A powerful film directed by Emmy Award-winner Janet Grillo, Fly Away narrates the story of Jeanne and her autistic teenage daughter, Mandy. Jeanne has cared for Mandy since the day she was born, growing closer every day to a child who is charmingly offbeat one moment and nearly impossible to manage the next.

In the dog park, Jeanne encounters Tom, an easygoing and accepting neighbor who sparks a romantic interest, but she finds juggling Mandy's care and her own career leaves little room for a new man. As the pressures of work and her child's needs increase, she must decide whether or not to enroll Mandy in a therapeutic residential facility.

Over the course of a few weeks, Jeanne is confronted with the most difficult decision a parent can make: to let go, allowing her child to grow, but also grow apart; or to hold on tight and fall together.

A selection of the Spiritual Cinema Circle.

Beth Broderick, J. R. Bourne, Greg Germann, Zachariah Palmer, Ashley Rickards
Janet Grillo

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SimoneL0, posted on August 8, 2016

I work with these students and though I have never met students with bigger hearts, they do not have it easy. Opportunities for further education and employment could be so much better. I love each and every one of them with my whole heart and pray that someday there are more options for these beautiful souls!

crowdancer5, posted on January 24, 2016

Having worked with this population for thirty years and in schools as well a vocationally and adult independent living, I found the lack of services and education for both teachers and parents astounding! The child was indulged when she was clearly capable of more and began to show that once she was talked tointelligently andfelt she had a chance for more. I could not give this film a very high rating at all

rosaluna, posted on September 18, 2013

Making a happy choice for her daughter's sake is the only decision worth considering. The mother in this film takes a long look at her capabilities and gives it her best, but in the end chooses to give her autistic daughter the benefit of institutional over home-based care. It was a hard choice but ultimately a happier choice for them both. In the best of world's, there would never be a need for such difficult decisions. But in the real world, this has to be handled with care and compassion for all, and this film helps to put both the pros and cons into a broader perspective. Highly recommended.

grandmafish, posted on July 27, 2013

Very moving and emotional portrayal of one mother's journey in dealing with her teenage daughter's autism and her own feelings about letting go as her daughter comes of age. This dramatic enactment doesn't pretend to provide answers for the questions is poses, which are questions that all caregivers will eventually face. How much is too much to sacrifice in the interest of giving the best quality of life to the one you're caregiving for? And what does quality of life mean for the caregiver and the one being cared for? When does caregiving cross over into guilt-ridden martyrdom? And how much control are we willing, as caregivers, to give up to permit an amount of independence and self-determination to the loved one we are caregiving for? After all, there IS STILL a human being in there. And when is it time to ask for help from others who are present and willing to help and when is it time to avail ourselves of help from professionals who may be more qualified to assist? In my personal caregiving situation, it is not developmental disabilities, but Alzheimers and related dementia, but I still found many things in this film that mirrored my situation and gave me food for thought. How we choose to react to difficult situations with our loved one and how we can love them, including how much we are willing to let them go, directly affects their quality of life and dignity as human beings. The young actress, Ashley Richards, who portrayed Mandy deserves an Oscar for her brilliant performance!

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