Meet the Jackson family, single mum Maggi (Helena Bonham Carter) and her seven children – four of whom suffer from a form of autism, they are no ordinary family. Inspired by a true story – Magnificent 7 follows the trials and tribulations of the Jackson family.
Single mother Maggi has her hands full with her seven children, especially her boys. Five-year-old Curtis (Thomas Redford) is autistic and supersensitive to clothes, terrified of the colour red and is allergic to just about everything. Twelve-year-old Christopher (Christopher Parkinson) suffers from Asperger syndrome which means he has a problem with anything that doesn’t say exactly what it means.
Add to that eight-year-old Davey’s (Joshua Thurston) attention deficit, hyperactive disorder and older son Richard’s (Duane Lomax) moods, provide a challenge for any mother. Thankfully she has the support and help of her three darling daughters; Rebekah (Polly Thompson), Louise (Holly Grainger) and Elizabeth (Anna Sainsbury).
It’s Christmas and Maggi Jackson’s kids, mainly the boys, hate Christmas. Curtis shuts down at the sight of red, so Maggie covers up his windows to keep the Christmas lights out and Davey helps his brother by stealing the batteries from the TV remote to ‘keep the Christmas out’.
Assessment time comes around again and Maggi takes the boys to their annual check-up with the experts. With their specialist tests and interviews they attempt to categorise the boys and determine just where they fit on the autistic spectrum.
Christopher makes a new friend when he meets the school caretaker Dmitri (Bruno Lastra). Dmitri seems to understand the world in which Christopher exists and Maggi finds herself drawn to him.
Parents of autistic children often talk about life as an ‘autistic two-step’, constantly taking two steps forward and one step back. This is very much the daily struggle Maggi endures, and Magnificent 7 provides testament to the struggles, disasters, tears, laughter and triumphs faced by this family affected by autism.
Sunday, 4 January, 8:30pm