Life, Animated's Roger Ross Williams: 'I was a loner – in my own Land of Lost Sidekicks'

The filmmaker returns to the subject of alienation with his new documentary about a young autistic man who uses Disney films to make sense of the world

Three years ago, Roger Ross Williams was looking around for the subject of his next documentary. He had become the first African American filmmaker to win a directing Oscar, awarded for his short film Music By Prudence, which was about a severely disabled Zimbabwean woman, Prudence Mabhena, who overcame prejudice to become a singer-songwriter. In the feature-length God Loves Uganda he charted the campaign in that country to make homosexuality punishable by death. Then an old friend, the Pulitzer prize-winning journalist Ron Suskind, told him about the book he and his wife Cordelia were writing about their son, Owen, who developed autism at the age of two. Owen had only begun to make contact again through dialogue from his beloved Walt Disney films.
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