Parents' Guide to

Far from the Tree

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Touching docu about parents raising uniquely different kids.

Movie NR 2018 93 minutes
Far from the Tree Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 8+

Based on 2 parent reviews

age 10+

Every School should Screen this as a Class

If you're a Big fan if the recent hit song by Carrie Underwood "Love Wins" you will fall in love with this Movie. Far from the Tree is the most loving depiction of authentic humanity I have seen on film, and like Ms. Underwood's brave indignation towards prejudice and persecution, Andrew Solomon obliterates any argument for segregating any group of people under summary judgment for who they are. For any Parent that has dealt with incomprehensible family events that derailed the course of their lives, this Movie will exhaust you. As you and the families journey through the struggle of emotions that survivors often bury to remain functional you may find closure to your own nightmares. The Movie in brief moments captures the subtle judgemental bigotry that the parents themselves suffer through as they try to navigate what's best for their children. It's marvelous that the movie captures societies segments that fear anything that is different from themselves in the parents loving but misguided yearning to guide their children to their version of happiness. That is the Miracle of this film. It does crucify the bigots of our culture, nor glorify militants who could grab you by the throat and shake you for your narrowmindedness. It looks at families from both sides through the prism of love. Educators and Parents alike should demand that thousands of hours be spent discussing all the various nuances in each story told. For all the ugly incivility that plague's our daily lives, this film will change the perspective of the coldest of hearts who see the world only in Black and White. I want to keep in touch with those in this film and see how their lives grow personally as the years unfold. What Movie makes you want to do that? I realize that this review is hardly objective, I am prejudiced by tragedy raising a normal son on my own while his parent remains behind bars. I identify and live with the burden the Texas family lives with having their own son Trevor, separated forever. Looking in their eyes is like looking in a mirror, where life will never make sense again, ever. Of all the stories, Mom never being able to look at the legacy of family photos of joyous times without understanding what was a lie and what was true is so agonizing and so true. Dad expressing "That you carry the guilt with you forever" and continuing to love his son is so brave. They are much braver than I. Please share my review, and "Re-Release" this movie so it gets the recognition it deserves and reaches those who so desperately need it, just don't forget a fresh box of Kleenex. This Film is proof that "Love Wins."
age 6+

Fascinating for the whole family

Our children, 6 and 9, were captivated by this film, as were my husband and I. It touches on some tough subjects, but in a way that we felt was a healthy introduction for bigger conversations with our children. All the families should be commended for sharing their compelling stories.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (2 ):
Kids say (1 ):

This poignant, compelling documentary effectively adapts Solomon's book about parents struggling with the reality of raising children who aren't necessarily what they expected. Far From the Tree isn't intended to answer too many questions, but it clearly and proudly promotes tolerance, acceptance, and love. While some of the case-study families are more riveting than others, they're all interesting enough to keep audiences rapt. If anything, moviegoers may wish there was a deeper dive into some of the cases, particularly Trevor's. But this isn't a crime-based documentary, so it's understandable why the film widens its focus.

The adult children in the documentary are particularly interesting: Jason, who's 41 and has Down syndrome, and Joe, who is a little person, are completely unlike their parents, yet they each have incredibly close bonds with them. (Joe's story is particularly compelling; it shows how he and his wife not only found each other but also become parents to a child they will love, whether the baby is a little person or not.) Jason's mom makes it clear that she's disappointed he didn't continue to be the renowned role model for people with Down syndrome that he was as a younger child/adolescent, but Jason seems fairly happy to live with his two best friends and re-watch Frozen. Solomon's own tale is moving, especially because there are still so many LGBTQ+ kids who feel their parents don't accept or love them. Maybe they could all sit down and watch this film together.

Movie Details

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