Elementary school student Aida researches rocks, enjoys learning, and is linguistically talented, clever, and determined. Aida also has a different brain than most others: she is on the autism spectrum. At home, she gets to be herself, but elsewhere, it is harder to navigate. The world of the neurotypicals is winding, unclear, and even scary, when your own brain is not tuned to accommodate it. School in particular is burdensome for Aida.
Is it fair that some have to face hardship because of being different? Righteous Aida recognises the problems in her everyday life and knows that she is not the only one whose neurotype is not supported in the necessary manner. Inspired by Greta Thunberg, she wants to change what people think of those neurodivergent or on the spectrum.
Aida’s courage and determination glow with a comforting power on the screen, even though the road is sometimes tough for both her and her caregiver mother. Still, the family’s team spirit is unwavering. From taking stands and demonstrations, the movement grows, with other young neurodivergent people joining in. Shared experiences epitomise the importance of activism, and the world is easier to change together.
The singular voice of the star of Maija Hirvonen’s film reminds us that simplifications and stereotypes are not enough. It is time to listen to Aida: us neurodivergent people must be allowed to be just the way we are, with our different brains, challenges, and strengths.
Mimosa Ahderinne (translated by Inari Ylinen)
A Finnish audio description of the film is available in the MovieReading app.
Director Maija Hirvonen attends the screening of her film on Tue, Jan 30.