A documentary about a couple that takes its child to Mongolia as they serach for a cure for his autism, The Horse Boy has its local premiere tonight at 7 at the Cleveland Museum of Art Lecture Hall. It screens again at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 21. Here's our review of the film.
The Horse Boy
(U.S., 2009) This documentary tracks the journey of a Texas couple to find a cure for their autistic six-year-old son. When medication doesn’t work, they take him to see a group of shamans in Mongolia who perform a cleansing ritual. The shamans tell the parents a “black energy” entered the mother’s womb during the pregnancy. The couple doesn’t question this, and the child kicks and screams like a maniac while the shaman beat their drums in his face. “Did I really have his best interests at heart?” asks his father. Eventually, however, the young child finds a kind of serenity helped by his love of animals, especially the Mongolian horses they meet in a remote region of the country. Shot like a home movie (and most of it is a home movie), the film doesn’t look spectacular. But as a portrait of two parents whose love for each other is as deep as their love for their child, it works quiet well. ***