TWO WORLDS – ONE PLANET Image

This documentary focuses on the Gateway Academy, a Scottsdale, Arizona-based private K-12 day school that specializes in providing education to youngsters who are diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder and high-functioning Autism.

The film details the distinctive challenges that the school’s administrators are facing, not the least being the wide range of developmental disability levels experienced by the students.  Some of the students engage in behavior that can be puzzling to the uninitiated, most notably a pre-teen girl who starts bawling uncontrollably when her initial attempt at miniature golf is not successful.  In that sense, the film provides invaluable insight on the challenges of this educational therapy.

However, the film also offers interviews with academy students who come across as being relaxed and self-confident to the point of being hammy. One boy speaks freely of wanting his own science TV show while another actually directs the camera crew regarding where he wants the cameras and boom microphone placed. With these youths, it is difficult to wonder what is going on – did they benefit from miraculous treatment or, perhaps, were they were always in good health and only needed a little extra effort to modify their rambunctious behavior?

Director Gail Levin adds to the confusion by giving the production a Film Student 101 visual style, with black-and-white cinematography that inexplicably lapses into split-screen effects and occasional slices of color home videos. As a result, “Two Worlds – One Planet” is often more bewildering than enlightening.

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  1. Robin Sweet says:

    The intent of this movie was to educate the general public about this wonderful, growing population! What makes these student unique is their out of the box thinking and ability to be outstanding in one particular area of focus. Being typical isn’t what it is cracked up to be, James Romano. People with Aspergers’s Syndrome and High Functioning Autism are the worlds best in whatever field that they choose to excel! We hope that you take the time to see this movie! Thanks

  2. James Romano says:

    I know some of the kids here, and, having yet not seen the movie myself, as I am unwilling to pay 248 dollars, I know some of the kids in this review even, and am well aware of their behaviors, so it’s interesting to have a first-hand perspective on the whole thing. It’s fortunate for the kids that this is not a moderately successful movie, even in it’s field, because otherwise they might be f****d for life.

  3. Ashley Brown says:

    I was in this movie

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