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Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me

  • 2017
  • Documentary and factual
  • Lifestyle

Summary

The naturalist and broadcaster offers a personal and brutally honest account of his life coping with Asperger's syndrome, reflecting on the devastating struggles of his adolescence. With scientific advances offering new possibilities to treat his condition, he travels to America to witness radical therapies that appear to offer the chance of entirely eradicating problematic autistic traits, while his long-term partner Charlotte talks about the problems Asperger's creates in their relationship

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Review

After watching this bleak but powerful journey into Chris Packham’s psyche, you won’t see him quite the same way again. In one scene, he shows us photographs he took as a tormented teenager, black and white shots of himself with bleached hair and dynamite strapped to his head or pointing a gun at his own temple. It’s shocking to learn the very rocky road Packham travelled before he became a much-loved TV naturalist, but both, he argues, resulted from his particular form of autism.

Packham’s Asperger’s (he wasn’t diagnosed until he was in his 40s) means he dislikes socialising, struggles to empathise, and experiences sensory overload, but it also gives him an obsessive focus that has served him well. In intimate conversations he bares his soul about a difficult childhood, keeping a kestrel as a teenager (“I don’t think I’ve ever loved anything so intensely”) and how he has come to terms with being different.

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Credits

Crew

rolename
UnknownTom Barry
DirectorCharlie Russell
EditorWill Grayburn
ProducerLizzie Kempton

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