Dad’s in Heaven with Nixon – documentary #AutismMovie

This documentary movie tells the life story of Autistic Artist Chris Murray @DadsinHeaven and his family.

I have been acquainted with Chris’s artwork for some time.

I was really drawn in by the official movie trailer, so I was already expecting a lot.

This remarkable film delivered everything that I was expecting…..and so much more.


A story of courage and love in adversity

Chris didn’t speak until he was 4 years old and then only after a rigorous and consistent program of physiotherapy.

  • including hours of daily motors-skills training at home
  • with the participation of his mother and siblings

Just like the story of Temple Grandin, Chris’ mother and siblings never gave up on him either.

All of this took place against the back-drop of a father who, though fundamentally loving, struggled desperately with his own demons.


The Autism spectrum – we are all connected

Although Chris and I occupy very different domains on the Autism spectrum, I was struck by how similar our Autism presents!

  • We share the same need for and reliance on routine
  • Not least when operating kitchen appliances and preparing food

Despite being a very gifted/savant lifelong  Artist, Chris was only ‘discovered’ in the late 1990s.

So like me, he too was a relatively late bloomer in his professional career.

There are so many other parallels between our lives, which I will leave for you to discover for yourselves.


Keeping it in the family

The movie is written, produced and directed by Tom Murray, Chris’ oldest sibling.

The film is brutally honest in the way that it portrays a family growing up in pain.

  • Pain that was actually unrelated to Autism!

Tom’s narration of their family dynamics was very familiar to me and had me in tears more than once.

What wasn’t familiar to me was the deep sibling love that Tom still has for his younger brother Chris, now in his 50s.

  • I wish I’d had an older brother like Tom looking out for me while I was growing up

But it warmed my heart thinking about the lifelong love and assurance afforded to Chris by his family.


We are all Autistic, we have all been hurt

I would encourage everyone who is in anyway touched by Autism to watch this movie.

The film also gives hope and encouragement to those of us recovering from dysfunctional family experiences.

  • Which may be rather more of us than we sometimes believe!


Dad’s in Heaven movie trailer


Artwork by Chris Murray

Chris Murray artwork on facebook


Thank you Chris, Tom and the Murray family

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Helen
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 11:50:20

    Thank you so much for this incredibly lovely overview of, “Dad’s in Heaven with Nixon!” We are all so grateful.


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