“As emotionally piercing as it is beautiful to behold”

“A truly remarkable and unique non-fiction effort…“The Reason I Jump” is a complete breakthrough in terms of one’s perception of autism…Director Rothwell (“How to Change the World”) lets Higashida and the people in his film tell their stories in their own way, and in doing so they have all opened a door.”

“The Reason I Jump will change how you think, and how many films can say that? This exquisite documentary is required viewing for anyone whose life has been touched by autism, and that’s almost everyone… enormously affecting – and revelatory”
Screen Daily

“a work of cinematic alchemy”
Hollywood Reporter

“This is non-fiction filmmaking at its most enlightening, and ravishing to behold.”

“Using evocative sound design and soft-lensed photography, the film privileges the senses, looking to do its own act of translation by finding images to represent the words that bring interior worlds alive”
Little White Lies

“But what’s so astonishing about The Reason I Jump is something much simpler: it made me produce a huge sigh of relief. Here’s a documentary where it not only gives justice to the autistic spectrum but also smashes down assumptions about autism that have been held for far too long… To put it succinctly, this is the first film that speaks to my disability and my own struggles, and that is a sentence I thought would never be ushered”
The Edge

The documentary is one of the most detailed, intense, sensory experiences to be released all year”

“To call The Reason I Jump a documentary would be unfair: it is more an immersive cinematic exploration of neurodiversity through the experiences of non-speaking autistic people from around the world… The more time I spent in their world, the more the strength and importance of their voices became clear”
Loud and Clear Reviews

“This journey engages all the senses, immersing us in their world through sights, sounds and textures. Indeed, it feels almost tactile in nature, at times. The Reason I Jump is remarkably empathetic, empowering these remarkable characters to show us their sensory landscapes” 
Backseat Mafia

“This is a sensitive, eye-opening look at a condition widely known, but arguably still little understood”
Electric Shadows

“A profound, formally ambitious documentary… This is a deeply compassionate and moving call for understanding, lending a loud voice to those living with autism”
Flickering Myth

“Fantastic and innovative camera work helps to shape this insight into a different world… This film is a powerful work of understanding and communication”
Screen Mayhem

“This portrait of people with nonverbal autism is a profound, immersive compassionate documentary”

“Rothwell’s adaptation is a sensory, intensely engaging experience, at once eye-opening, informative and deeply affecting… It’s an incredibly immersive work”
The Upcoming

“Through its broad and varied canvas and sensitive uses of stylism, The Reason I Jump does an admirable job of translating Higasida’s vital message to yet another new audience”
Twenty Five Years Later

“Groundbreaking… Beautiful and truly immersive… Inspired and inspiring, this should be essential viewing for all neurotypical people”
We Talk Film

“Simply one of the most divine cinematic experience that I’ve ever had. When it ended, I wanted it to start again. If I had to pick a favourite, this is it.”
KDSM Fox 17

“A groundbreaking documentary … revelatory”
Screen International

“With sensitivity and thoughtfulness, Rothwell invites the audience to enter the inner worlds of his five young subjects, while threading Naoki Higashida’s reflections throughout the film.”
WNDT Sundance in Focus

“The film is a transcendent experience often operating in a poetic mode as it explores the complexities of understanding how the universe is ordered.”
The Film Stage

“Rothwell creates a fascinating space for the senses to run wild and free, giving voice to those living in their very real and bountiful reality. Although documenting the everyday existence of those nonspeaking, “The Reason I Jump” finds ways to embrace total neurodiversity through thoughtful and insightful technique.”
Jump Cut Online

“There is so much I love about this film, it’s hard to know where to begin… A remarkable work of empathy…Given the immersive intensity of the film’s soundscape, it didn’t surprise me that Sound designer Nick Ryan is a composer and creator of multisensory artistic installations”

“An impressive and important piece!”        
Filmhounds Magazine

“The Reason I Jump is officially my top film of London FIlm Festival: a lucid, thoughtful and compassionate exploration of the world of non-speaking autistic people…”


“a ripping yarn well-told, about a world of greed, grapes and bleep-you money.
Globe and Mail

NEW YORK TIMES (Critics Pick)

“hilarious, fascinating and undeniably entertaining”
Now Toronto 4 stars

“A real-life comic mystery fit for Hercule Poirot…. highly entertaining stranger-than-fiction saga.”

“uncorks…fascinating questions about what ultimately determines the true value of art.” 

“like a Hollywood heist film.. endlessly fun and informative” 
Digital Journal

“a thrilling doc – full of intrigue and endless fascination” 
Strictly Docs

“An elaborate oral history of a bizarre yet believable criminal endeavour.  A uniquely human look at one of the most bizarre grifts on record… a tragi-comic caper – engaging and insightful”
Toronto Film Scene

“Raise a glass to Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas for their breezy caper film…Paced like a thriller with aromatic notes of journalistic intrigue, Sour Grapes is a finely balanced blend.”
 POV Magazine.


“Full of heart-wrenching imagery, with a score that emphasizes the weight of its content, the footage captures some of their most iconic moments in Greenpeace history. The material speaks for itself….  “How to Change the World” not only serves as a history lesson, but also as a portrait of Hunter, as we see him at his best and worst. His evolution from bold activist to the leading voice in environmental preservation is an undeniably powerful evolution that emphasizes the message that anyone can alter global events with the right blend passion and commitment. Hunter himself comes across as an ego-free eccentric who cares for his peers and the environment in equal doses. The film also shows that every leader needs his disciples. With a steady-pace and a clear message, “How to Change the World” not only does justice to its title, but also shows why one man can’t change it on his own.”

“..a powerful documentary that surely tells the story better than any Hollywood romcom could… Hunter’s writing is candid, beautiful, poetic. (Sample: “Image is everything. The boat is an icon. A mind bomb sailing across an electronic sea into the front rooms of the masses.”)  …The footage is astonishing: candid moments from those early missions, from the mundane to the transformational to the graphically gut-wrenching, such as footage of the group watching a harpooned sperm whale dying in the Pacific and realizing with shock and distress that it was undersized.…At the core of the story is not the environmentalism but the messy group dynamics of those early Greenpeace days. ‘I’m really interested in how groups come together, how individuals can change and what happens to power within those groups as they grow,’ Rothwell says. But this documentary, which feels way more edge-of-your-seat than staid historical document, seems destined to spark some new interest in Greenpeace – and environmental activism in general.”

“How To Change the World is tremendously inspiring, and by turns thrilling, comic, and shocking. A portrait of the achievements of an unlikely group of allies rather than a sales pitch for the modern organization, How to Change the World is drawn from writings by founder Robert Hunter, the group’s shaggy, media-savvy general, and features jawdropping footage culled from the Greenpeace archive of film footage.”

How to Change the World (dir. Jerry Rothwell) unravels the beginnings of Greenpeace in the Vancouver of the early ’70s.  Never-before-seen footage of those days spike the film with plenty of action — from clashing with U.S. authorities to dangerous confrontations with Russian whaling ships. The story is told through three of the movement’s most well-known leaders: Bob Hunter, Paul Watson and Patrick Moore, who quit the group in 1986 and essentially became anti-Greenpeace. The shenanigans, backbiting and real-life risks of the movement are brought to light in a film that is captivating to its core.  Rothwell’s film is at heart, a nostalgic and poetic paean to Hunter — the journalist/activist who spearheaded the movement in its infancy. Hunter is posited as the “glue” of the organization and it’s surprising to learn he reluctantly bore the mantle of leader. “I’ve always hated leaders,” the narration intones. “[When] I realized I’d become group ‘father’ I felt nauseated.”  Watson’s injection into the group during the protest over Newfoundland’s seal hunt sparked what would become the group’s undoing. Some of Greenpeace’s senior members blame Watson for taking the movement into more dangerous territory — physical confrontations and property damage. Eventually, the movement survives Moore’s defection and a period of extreme expansion in which it lost its way. The film is a bittersweet ode to a movement whose call to arms has only gotten more urgent in these times of climate change

“Long before Twitter and Facebook, eco-pioneer/journalist Bob Hunter was “going viral” with analog “mind bombs” – consciousness-shifting news feeds that catapulted modern environmental activism into the forefront. Armed with a 16mm camera and a leaky fishing boat, Hunter and his band of hippie scientists, sailors, mystics and mechanics set out in the early 70s to stop atomic testing and then whaling ships, along the way giving birth to one of the world’s largest and best known enviro orgs, Greenpeace. Jerry Rothwell has masterfully edited all-access reels of archival footage into a gripping tale of revolutionary change-makers on the high seas, soaked with intrigue, action, heartache and larger-than-life characters. Amidst crashing waves and clashing egos, Hunter (whose poetic writing is voiced by actor Barry Pepper) concedes the weakest part of a revolution is often the people themselves. The visionary Greenpeace co-founder may no longer be with us, but his legacy lives on in this powerful film that should stir movie goers into believing that a small group of determined individuals can make a difference – and that, as Hunter states, a camera can change the world more easily than a gun.”

“You won’t find a call to action at the end of Jerry Rothwell’s documentary on Greenpeace, How To Change the World. Nor, at any point, will you encounter saccharine montages of endangered species or rallying cries for change from any of the organization’s 40 member countries. Instead, you’ll meet a ship full of flannel-wearing, chain-smoking, well-intentioned men who – for the most part – don’t seem to agree on a whole lot…There’s a particular romanticism to such an undertaking that Rothwell doesn’t scrimp on, but what drives his film is the group’s calculated manipulation of the Greenpeace mythos.”

“The goldmine of 16mm color footage, whose propagandic value participants were quite cognizant of at the time, is in mint condition, showing the excitement and fun of the movement in its earliest days.”

“[From] vivid archive and sly narration by Robert Hunter, an early guiding force of the organization, Jerry Rothwell has created a thrilling, sometimes terrifying film. The youthful energy is palpable in action-packed scenes, including one in which activists confront a Russian whaling ship in a tiny Zodiac dingy. Soon, though, idealism comes up against reality, compromise, human nature, and the complexities of managing a growing organization. This insightful film is also a vibrant, moving reflection about the ongoing struggle to balance the political and the personal.”

“How to Change the World, directed by Jerry Rothwell is a masterwork of storytelling built around footage from Greenpeace’s archives. It’s the kind of project that births cinematic activism within the planetary simultaneity of consciousness enabled by new media. … Portland Eco Festival director Dawn Smallman credited the film for its curation of archival footage, the bold honesty of its personal storytelling (including a perhaps surprisingly effective “Judas” character), the planetary and cinematic significance of the work, and its brilliant blend of contemporary footage with historical footage.”

“Barely an “environmental movie,” How to Change the World is an exceptional piece of documentary film-making, chronicling the history of a group whose impact on the world stage, whatever your political leanings, cannot be understated.”


“The beauty of Town of Runners lies in is its subtlety. … Rothwell’s careful cinematography is careful to make sure that the film is not a simplistic fable of sporting optimism…. Heartfelt, lively and candid, Town of Runners deserves be the sleeper hit of this Olympic year.”

“A fantastically cool British documentary…The film is incredibly beautiful. Scenes of men and women working in the fields of wheat look like a Renoir. Director and producing team Jerry Rothwell and Al Morrow – previously of the touching Heavy Load and tragic Deep Water – are two of the best talents in this country.”

“Dispelling the usual clichés about Africa, Rothwell reveals instead an entrepreneurial community where “running is work” and villagers chip in two per cent of their salaries to support coach Sentayehu Eshetu. Fluctuations in form, funding and bureaucracy hinder the girls’ progress but their ambition never wavers. In an Olympic year, here’s an inspirational reminder of what it’s all about.”


“Heart-warming, mind-boggling and hugely entertaining, this is a superbly directed documentary that’s by turns thought-provoking, laugh-out-loud funny and deeply moving.”

“British documentarian Jerry Rothwell’s focus remains squarely on the emotional and psychological aspects of his story, rather than the cold statistics of sperm donation: this is a tale of kids looking for meaning and companionship, finding it in each other and a befuddled hippy with a heart of gold. It’s a film of great characters, each of whom is treated with integrity and respect: Jeffrey Harrison, aka Donor 150, is like a real-life Jeff Lebowski, only stranger and more tragic. The result is surprising, amusing and oddly melancholic: a genuine human drama.”

“Donor Unknown is a skilfully constructed look at a very modern family.”


“There aren’t too many quietly moving documentaries about thrash punk bands, which is just one reason to treasure Jerry
Rothwell’s film. Of the five members of Heavy Load, three have learning disabilities. Together for nine years and playing the
charity gig circuit, the group is inspired by the arrival of Rothwell’s camera to head for the mainstream. Although a portrait of a band, Heavy Load is as much about the lives of people with learning disabilities – chaperoned dates and all. Respectful and never patronising, Rothwell genuinely connects with his subjects.”

“The story in Heavy Load is a minor miracle, really, at once a classic rockumentary about a band and its creative and personal differences, an eye-opening look at the artistic an emotional lives of the mentally challenged, and a story about a group of people who go from part-time musicians to full-fledged social activists in the name of punk rock.”


“Deep Water is a stunning documentary that not only beautifully elucidates a nearly forgotten incident but touches on crucial themes involving isolation, sanity, self-worth, impossible dreams, the nature of heroism and limits of human endurance.”

“…the less said about this film the better. It’s that good.”

%d bloggers like this: