What would you do if your community gave up on your child?
In New Jersey, the parents of a boy on the autism spectrum take matters into their own hands. They form a competitive swim team, recruiting diverse teens on the spectrum and training them with high expectations and zero pity. SWIM TEAM chronicles the extraordinary rise of the Jersey Hammerheads, capturing a moving quest for inclusion, independence and a life that feels winning.
Lara Stolman’s SWIM TEAM, an award-winning documentary made over the course of two years, will be shown on the acclaimed PBS series POV on October 2, 2017. Check your local listings for details.
A wonderful review by Ella Taylor in the NY Times, says this about the film:
“Lara Stolman’s Swim Team is long enough to break and warm your heart in equal measure — which is about what you’d expect from a documentary about teenagers with autism who are training to compete in the Special Olympics. To its enormous credit, Swim Team is a very specific film that doesn’t engage with the often acrimonious and ill-informed debates about what causes autism. Nor does Stolman line up experts to enlighten us on the subject of a condition about which so little is known for certain. By keeping a tight focus on three very different teenaged boys on the spectrum and their families, her film handily dispatches widely-held assumptions about autism, among them that every kid on the spectrum is a genius; that they’re all obsessed with patterns or systems; that no one with autism likes to be touched; that they can’t process emotion and prefer to be alone. Like you and me and everyone we know, they’re all different, and the film honors that beautifully.”
We first learned about SWIM TEAM earlier this year when a beautiful Father’s Day article was published on Huffington Post featuring the coach Mike McQuay.
Take a look at the trailer: