DVD Verdict
Home About Deals Blu-ray DVD Reviews Upcoming DVD Releases Contest Podcasts Judges Jury Room Contact  

Case Number 21025: Small Claims Court

Buy Loving Lampposts at Amazon

Loving Lampposts

Cinema Libre // 2010 // 83 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // March 31st, 2011

• View Judge Johnson's Dossier
• E-mail Judge Johnson
• Printer Friendly Review

Every purchase you make through these Amazon links supports DVD Verdict's reviewing efforts. Thank you!


All Rise...

Judge David Johnson can't recommend this documentary highly enough.

The Charge

If you've met one autistic person…you've met one autistic person.

Opening Statement

Todd Drezner is a filmmaker and the father of a newly diagnosed autistic son. Compelled to investigate the powder keg of dueling treatments and approaches, he ventures forth with his camera, and returns with a documentary that will change worldviews.

Facts of the Case

Drezner's son is fascinated by lampposts. When the family saunters through the park, he is drawn, always, to the wrought iron lampposts that dot the sidewalk. Drezner looks at this behavior with fascination and incredulity. But not with sympathy or an overwhelming need to "correct" his son's actions.

That is the approach of the "neurodiversity" movement, a shift in autism treatment, and the focus of Living Lampposts. Drezner explores and compares the dueling philosophies of neurodiversity and "recovery," which treats autism as a tragedy and an epidemic that must be cured and the victims returned to normalcy.

The Evidence

My day job finds me in the human service industry, on the front lines of the autism campaign. There are few other issues that have such resonance. And while I am not a father of an autistic child, my proximity to the disorder has given me a heightened awareness to its effects on families, legislators and, of course, the children themselves. In fact, as my wife carried our first child a year ago, I could not help but entertain the unease of wondering what I would do if our firstborn would be autistic. How would we handle this? After all, "epidemic" is the word most strongly associated with autism; fear and dread permeates virtually all discussion.

And here is why Loving Lampposts is such a revelation: it completely changed my thinking on the subject.

Drezner does a great job looking at both treatment models, recovery and neurodiversity, and makes a compelling and deeply emotional case for the latter. Instead of painting autism as this debilitating plague that destroys kids and must be caused by some kind of boogeyman, neurodiversity encourages parents and caregivers to support the child and reexamine the disorder as simply a different way of looking at the world.

Granted, that sounds idealistic, but Drezner populates his film with real-world followers of this new paradigm; regular parents, esteemed researchers, even adults currently dealing with autism. Their insight is valuable and their case is persuasive.

It's not all rainbows and buttercups. While not blatantly combative, Drezner makes little effort to mask his skepticism for the "cure" schemes that have besieged the autism community over the years, from the secretin IVs of the late '90s to the portable hyperbaric chambers and extreme anti-toxicity solutions of today. Thankfully, the vaccine alarmists are pilloried as well, and this is before the news of the Lancet's fraudulence broke through earlier this year.

(To his credit, Drezner's not a jerk about any of this and states repeatedly that the recovery folks are pursuing their agendas out of love for their children, just like the ND subscribers.)

The DVD: a fine-looking 1.78:1 anamorphic transfer, 2.0 stereo and a selection of extended interviews for extras.

Closing Statement

What is "normalcy?" Is it the standard dictated by society or is it a rewarding life that can be different from individual to individual? Loving Lampposts posits an answer, and its conclusion had reorganized my thinking on the matter. This documentary is not to be missed.

The Verdict

Not Guilty.

Give us your feedback!

Did we give Loving Lampposts a fair trial? yes / no

Share This Review

Follow DVD Verdict

DVD Reviews Quick Index

• DVD Releases
• Recent DVD Reviews
• Search for a DVD review...

Scales of Justice

Judgment: 98

Perp Profile

Studio: Cinema Libre
Video Formats:
• 1.78:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• None
Running Time: 83 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary

Distinguishing Marks

• Extended Interviews


• IMDb

DVD | Blu-ray | Upcoming DVD Releases | About | Staff | Jobs | Contact | Subscribe | Find us on Google+ | Privacy Policy

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site design and review layout copyright © 2016 Verdict Partners LLC. All rights reserved.