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Black Balloon, The (ATOM Study Guide)

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The Black Balloon (Elissa Down, 2007) is an Australian film about a family dealing with the day-to-day challenges of living with an autistic son. Charlie is seventeen and presents all kinds of embarrassing situations for Thomas, his 15 (going on 16)-year-old brother. The film deals with a number of issues about family life and the difficulties, challenges and rewards faced by families in which one of the members has a disability.

The warmth, humour, love and generosity of the Mollison family makes for a very engaging film that is neither sentimental nor grim in its depiction of growing up with a family member with autism. It is an inspiring story about the power of love, family and friendship.

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