The Horse Boy

The Horse Boy

Director: Michel Orion Scott Cast: Rupert Isaacson, Kristin Neff, Rowan Isaacson
4.5 2

DVD (Wide Screen)

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The Horse Boy

A family takes some very unusual steps to help their son in this documentary from filmmaker Michel Orion Scott. Rupert Isaacson and Kristen Neff first met when they were both traveling through India; Rupert was an activist representing the rights of indigenous peoples in the Third World, while Kristen was a college professor with a degree in psychology. While Rupert and Kristen expected that their nomadic life might change when they married and had a child, they weren't quite prepared for what happened when their son, Rowan Isaacson, was diagnosed with autism. Rowan was given to long periods of sullen withdrawal and sudden bursts of rage that no form of therapy seemed to help, and by the time he was five his parents were running out of ideas when they discovered the boy had a close bond with animals. Rupert discovered a band of shamans in Mongolia who claimed to be able to heal autism, and so he joined Rowan and Kristen for a journey in which they would travel across the country on horseback to meet the holy men who might be able to help the child. Director Scott and a small camera crew joined the family on their voyage, and Over the Hills and Far Away allows viewers to watch as Rupert and Kristen search out a way to help their son connect with the world at large. Over the Hills and Far Away received its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.

Product Details

Release Date: 04/20/2010
UPC: 0795975112536
Original Release: 2009
Rating: NR
Source: Zeitgeist Films
Presentation: [Wide Screen]
Time: 1:33:00
Sales rank: 32,795

Special Features

Additional interviews with autism experts including Dr. Temple Grandin and Prof. Simon Baron-Cohen; Behind-the-scenes and outtake footage of the Isaacsons' Mongolian journey; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Horse Boy
1. A Family in Search of a Miracle [8:15]
2. Rupert Has a Crazy Idea [5:15]
3. Rowan's Chocolate Milk [2:07]
4. The Shamans at Tsegan Ul [8:40]
5. Code Brown [3:59]
6. Rowan's Relationship With Animals [4:56]
7. "What Are We Putting Him Through?" [7:29]
8. "Over the Hills and Far Away" [3:38]
9. Heading to Healing Waters [7:05]
10. The Loneliness of Autistic Parents [5:10]
11. Riding Up to the Summit [8:52]
12. The Reindeer People [5:04]
13. Ghoste [9:21]
14. "That, Indeed, Was When Everything Began to Change" [4:59]
15. Two Weeks Later [5:21]
16. End Credits/The New Trails Center [3:35]

Customer Reviews

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The Horse Boy 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
lynette355 More than 1 year ago
As a long-time fan of PBS, I was really looking forward to a sneak peak of The Horse Boy, an independent film that has already won many awards and will soon be airing on PBS for everyone to see. The story, originally written and lived by Rupert Isaacson and his wife, centers around their autistic son, Rowan. In examining and explaining the difficulty of living with and raising an autistic child, the film brings in various experts to explain the disease, their interviews and opinions interspersed between scenes of Rowan's daily life. From tantrums to toilet training, very little is left out, including the day inspiration struck. Rowan got off of his family's Texas property and onto a neighbor's acreage, making his way to the neighbor's horse. The uncharacteristic calm and absolute peace his son exhibited while around the animal prompted Rupert to use equine healing as a way of helping Rowan. Further research and his own background experiences as a globe-trotting journalist gave Rupert and his wife Kristin a chance to experiment with shamanic healing, which also had a very positive effect on Rowan. In hopes of helping his son, Rupert decided to go to Mongolia and travel on horseback from shaman to shaman, seeking a cure for some of the more difficult symptoms presented by Rowan's autism. With the tag line "how far would you travel to heal someone you love?" The Horse Boy tells the down to earth, true story of this family as they delve into unfamiliar territory and face emotional challenges in search of help. The story was very well told with beautiful cinematography. It felt, in some ways, as if I were watching a feature film rather than a documentary. I now long to read the book, The Horse Boy: A Father's Quest to Heal His Son. Following the story as told in the film from beginning to end was a joy. A very unique glimpse into Mongolia was offered, as well as a look into the mind of an autistic person. All in all, this was amazing to watch. I recommend it to anyone who wants a warm, feel-good success story to end their day with.