5 films and series about autism

Published: 06 October 2023

Autism is increasingly discussed in the world of cinema and TV series. Films on autism represent a major step forward in the recognition of autistic people, while illustrating the plurality of profiles and situations.

Today we’re taking a look at the films and series that particularly appealed to theAuticiel team!

1. Atypical, the series made in Netflix

Sam, a young autistic teenager, is on a quest for romance and independence. Her determination to find love would prove to be a real turning point in her mother’s life.

Why do we love it? While Sam’s autism is often discussed, it is above all the life of a family that is told. That of parents who do their best, but are only human, and that of teenagers searching for themselves. For people unaware of ASD, it shows that being autistic also means having a life: desires, dreams, fears, love experiences.

2. The Rain Man classic

On the death of his father, Charlie Babbitt, a young Los Angeles car dealer, finds himself dispossessed of his inheritance. The late father bequeathed most of his fortune to his older brother Raymond, whose existence he was unaware of. He is autistic and lives in a Cincinnati psychiatric hospital.

Why do we love it? Because it came out in 1988 and, at the time, nobody knew exactly what autism spectrum disorders (ASD) were. Even if Rain Man is sometimes perceived as a somewhat confining stereotype, the dazzling success of the film has nevertheless enabled a whole generation to learn more about autism, to open up dialogue on the subject and to finally bring it to the forefront.

3. The Temple Grandin biopic

The true story of Temple Grandin, an American autistic with severe relationship problems. One summer at her aunt’s house, she discovers a growing love for cattle. This revolutionized livestock infrastructure and equipment.

Why do we love it? Temple Grandin is an icon whose testimony has enabled scientists to better understand autistic people. The film that pays tribute to him is perfectly executed. The staging is cleverly used to make autism visible, the actors are spot-on, and the storyline is seamless, with no downtime.

4. The documentary Elle s'appelle Sabine

Elle s’appelle Sabine” is a documentary film by Sandrine Bonnaire, who in her first feature film portrays her mentally handicapped sister Sabine, belatedly diagnosed as a form of autism.

Why do we love it? The documentary evokes an endearing personality whose development and multiple gifts were crushed. After a tragic five-year stay in a psychiatric hospital, Sabine regained her taste for life in a foster home in Charente. Beyond its subject matter, “Elle s’appelle Sabine” is a truly cinematic film. Sensitive, the production is also original in form.

5. Love stories and autism on Netflix

Euphoria. Broken hearts. Awkward silences.

they embark on an unparalleled challenge: the quest for


Why do we love it? Because, once again, it’s a nod to popular belief. This half-documentary, half-reality show takes us into the lives of several autistic people looking for love. The series really shows the breadth of the autism spectrum, featuring many different people who are touching in their own way, allowing us to follow their stories throughout the seasons.


Do you have any autism-related films or series to recommend?

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