The Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) opened October 18th and runs through the 28th. One film in the extensive lineup, which premiered Friday, is Don and Julianne King’s feature documentary BEAUTIFUL SON, about their journey to recover their son Beau from autism.

It is unexpectedly beautiful, visually and emotionally, its greatest strength perhaps the earnestness with which the Kings take viewers into their life and the balanced way they explore many sides of controversial issues, from vaccines to behavior therapy to chelation.

The next showing is Wed, Oct 24, 12:00 PM. Take a long lunch and see this film (synopsis below)–just an hour long–and have your mind opened to the possibilities and the need for a new direction of research and treatment.

photo: dana edmunds

A documentary about one family’s struggle to heal their son from autism

In 2003, Hawaii filmmakers Don and Julianne King realized something was wrong with their three-year-old son, Beau. Around age two-and-a-half, Beau started losing his ability to speak, his coordination, and was becoming disconnected from the outside world. Determined to help Beau, his parents brought him to the best doctors in the U.S. and took along a video camera to document the results. Two months later, Beau was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

In BEAUTIFUL SON, Don and Julianne take us on their journey through the landscape of this debilitating neurological disorder as they attempt to recover Beau from autism. Along the way, through their research and personal interaction with various medical professionals, Don and Julianne come to believe the establishment has little to offer apart from advice of “good parenting” and behavioral therapy. Desperate to find help, they stumble upon a community of doctors and parents who are experimenting with alternative treatments and who are, they believe, successfully recovering some kids from autism.

BEAUTIFUL SON is the story of an illness reaching epidemic proportion, now affecting one in 150 children. And, it’s the story of a grass roots movement of parents and doctors who believe that vaccines, mercury and other toxins may be triggering some forms of autism and demanding research be done to help their children.

From the BEAUTIFUL SON press kit.