The series “A Special Case” achieved high viewership rates since its first episodes were shown, and attention turned to the series’ hero, actor Taha Desouky, who succeeded in embodying the character of a young lawyer named Nadim Abu Saree, who suffers from autism spectrum disorder.
During the events, Nadim tries to fulfill his dream and his mother’s wish of becoming a lawyer who defends the weak. The events monitor the difficulties he faces in order to integrate into society and prove himself.
The distinctive and unusual idea in Egyptian drama and cinema is one of the factors that contributed to the success of the series, which was written by Mohab Tariq and directed by Abdel Aziz Al-Najjar. Autism was only addressed in a few works, such as the story “Dream of My Life” in the series “Except Me,” where Mayan Al-Sayed embodied the character An autistic girl is trying to make her way in life and become an actress.
However, autism disorder has been dealt with in several forms in international cinema, the most prominent of which are the following works:
The treatment provided by the makers of the film “Rain Man” succeeded in embodying the suffering of autistic patients. The story is based on real events about the life of the autistic American, Kim Peek, who has exceptional mental abilities.
Dustin Hoffman played the character of Raymond, an autistic patient, whose brother Charlie (Tom Cruise) is trying to seize his inheritance, but through a trip they take, Charlie begins to understand his brother's personality and learn about his abilities and his sharp intelligence that saved them from troubles. This human rapprochement in… The end made him change his mind.
Hoffman succeeded in portraying the details of the character of an autistic patient with sweetness and precision, after which he deserved to win the Best Actor award at the 1989 Oscars, among a number of awards that the film received, including Best Director for Barry Levens, Best Original Screenplay, and Best Picture.
The idea was reintroduced in the 2007 Egyptian film “Al-Turbini,” in which Ahmed Rizk played the character of the autistic hero, with Sherif Mounir and Hend Sabry co-starring.
Ben Affleck is one of the most famous artists who succeeded in embodying a person with autism disorder, through the events of the movie “The Accountant,” where he was able to express all the psychological, physical, and mental difficulties that the movie’s hero went through.
The film did not only present the special abilities and extreme intelligence of the hero Christian, who became a famous accountant and a professional in his work, but it presented a dramatic line about the motives and dimensions that contributed to the formation of the character of the hero, whose mother abandoned him since childhood and left him to his father after he was diagnosed with autism. And the father’s success in containing and directing him.
“My name is Khan”
“My Name is Khan” relied on presenting autism disorder through the main character in the film, which was portrayed by the Indian star Shah Rukh Khan in 2010.
During the events, the hero, Rizwan Khan, suffers from a form of the autism spectrum. He moves to the United States following the death of his mother, and after the events of the collapse of the World Trade Towers, he is subjected to persecution, where he is detained, his behavior is questioned, and he resorts to his psychological therapist in order to solve his problem.
In 1998, the makers of the movie “Mercury Rising” dealt with autism disorder through events that relied on the strong skills and sharp intelligence of an autistic child, who is able to uncover the secret of a code developed by the US National Security Agency, which is a complex code to protect intrusion into its electronic networks. Here the authorities ask to seize the child in order to prevent the spread of the code, and they try to kidnap him, but the first attempt fails, and here the federal agent (Art Jeffries) stands next to the child to protect him.
“Mozart and the Whale”
Away from action films and in a romantic comedy framework, the duo Josh Hartnett and Wardha Mitchell presented two autistic characters in the events of the movie “Mozart and the Whale.”
The film deals with autism in a human form through its impact on emotional relationships. The hero, Donald, has special abilities in numbers and loves repetitive patterns and routines, and he falls in love with Isabel, who participates with him in an autism support group.
Dramatic and documentary experiences
In addition to famous cinematic works, the past year 2023 witnessed the treatment of autism in television dramas, including the series “A Kind of Spark”, in which the 11-year-old girl, Addie, who has autism, tries to convince her village to create a memorial to the women who were tried. She is accused of witchcraft there and believes they are probably autistic like her.
In the same year, Chris Beckham presented an experiment in which he documented autism under the title “Inside Our Autistic Minds,” through which cooperation with filmmakers, graphic designers, and animators succeeded in helping a group of people with autism create short films that help them discover About their true feelings inside them.
The comedy series “Everything's Gonna Be Okay,” which was presented in 2020, dealt with autism, but through comedic situations, and a journey of self-discovery, as the series follows the lives of 3 siblings, Nicolas, Genevieve, and 17-year-old Matilda. She suffers from autism, and during the events, her brother discovers that he also has autism.
As for the series “The Good Doctor,” which was shown in 2017, actor Freddie Highmore succeeded in embodying the character of Dr. Sean Murphy, a successful and talented surgeon who is also autistic. The series discusses the complexities he faces despite his extreme intelligence and skill, in addition to his struggles. Emotional, personal and determined to improve patients' lives.