Autism Through Cinema

Temple Grandin (2010) dir. Mick Jackson

September 3, 2021

In Mick Jackson's TV film Temple Grandin, Claire Danes shines in the title role, portraying one of the world's most famous autistic women. Temple is shown to be a formidable force of nature as she takes on the professors of her college, and the workers of the feedlot where she will eventually design her famous cattle chute system. We discuss how the film makes use of animation techniques to offer a visualisation of Temple's way of 'thinking in pictures', although we reserve concerns that this may essentialise autism a little too much. We consider Temple in relation to her gender as a strong female character in many very masculine environments, and what impression this leaves us for thinking through autistic femininity.

Temple Grandin will be screened on the 16th September at our Autism and Cinema season at the Barbican, London. The film will be followed by a short pre-recorded interview with the real Temple, and then a Q&A with podcast host Dr David Hartley, and Dr Bonnie Evans, author of The Metamorphosis of Autism. Tickets are free and can be bought from the Barbican website:

If you have enjoyed this episode, please leave us a comment or feedback, or get in touch on cinemautism[at]

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