FilmScene Iowa City, IA


Jamila Ephron

Co-director, FAR FROM THE TREE


Ece Demir-Lira

Assistant Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences, University of Iowa; Member, DeLTA Center research group

Far From the Tree— One of a kind: The genetics, normalcy, and compassion of Far From the Tree

Producer Jamila Ephron joins neurological development expert Ece Demir-Lira for a conversation about the documentary Far From The Tree, diving deeper into the film's themes of families raising "abnormal" children: from compassion to nature vs. nurture, from tragedies to triumphs. Presented as part of the 2019 National Week of Science on Screen.

FilmScene Iowa City, IA

Film Synopsis

Families of children who have Down syndrome, dwarfism, autism, or other "abnormalities" share intimate stories of their journeys toward acceptance for their one-of-a-kind kids.

Based on The New York Times bestseller by Andrew Solomon, Far From the Tree is an intimate, profoundly human look at families raising children society deems “abnormal”: a mother and son determined to show the world that his Down syndrome does not define him; a couple learning to communicate with their bright but nonverbal autistic son; a young woman dealing with what it means to be the only little person in her family; and parents whose deep love for their son persists even after he has committed an unspeakable crime. Tracing their joys, challenges, tragedies, and triumphs, Far From the Tree invites viewers to rethink what it means to be a “normal family.”