Dolphin Boy (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

Dolphin Boy (2012)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Morad - a teenager from an Arab village in the north of Israel disconnects himself from humans following a violent attack that he experienced. As a last resort before hospitalization in a Mental Institution, he is taken by his devoted father to be treated with Dolphins in Eilat. Morad starts speaking again after months of silence, but he erases his past and refuses to go home to his awaiting mother. This documentary about the devastating havoc that human violence can wreak upon the human soul, and about the healing powers of nature and of love, was filmed over the course of the past four years. -- (C) Official Site
Art House & International , Documentary
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Critic Reviews for Dolphin Boy

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

Gentle yet bracing.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
Top Critic

More grounded in simple observation than in fanciful theories, this effortlessly engaging story of sudden tragedy and halting recovery wisely focuses on the facts and leaves the wonder to the audience.

April 26, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

Dolphin Boy stands as an example of how the pitfalls of potentially mushy material can be overcome by smart and sensitive direction.

Full Review… | April 24, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

An astonishing tale of recovered voice and memory depicting the most intriguing reason yet to save the whales.

Full Review… | May 6, 2012

A compassionate study that admirably refrains from pumping up the sentimentality.

Full Review… | April 27, 2012
Film Journal International

From PTSD after a beating to. . .astounding rebirth into a new personality under the sea through dolphin therapy. . .the arc of Morad's life has to be seen to be appreciated.

Full Review… | November 26, 2011

Audience Reviews for Dolphin Boy

Is this movie propaganda? For Dolphin therapy? For the Israeli care system? For the benefits of being a "good" Arab in Israel? The situation shown in this movie is like a US movie about a latino young adult, deeply traumatized by other young latinos, and treated by an all white/anglo medical and dolphin therapy team. He forgets everything about his latino identity, family and history, finding comfort and happiness in an all anglo culture. The father of the proganist abandons the rest of the family 350 miles away to spend a year at the beach, by the dolphin center, with his son. By the way, the father likes to wear stylish cowboy gear and dance around the fire with his friends. Almost no Spanish is spoken. Is this right?

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What is truly remarkable and compelling about this Documentary is where it takes place and the principals involved. Israel, a slice of democracy in a hostile milieu has gifted movie goers outstanding films in recent years; films dealing intrepidly with controversial topics: religion, politics, families in crisis. "Lebanon", "Lemon Tree", "Restoration" and the superb Academy Award nominee "Waltz with Bashir" are a few renowned examples of superlative filmmaking. "Dolphin Boy" is the touching and miraculous true story of a young boy living in an Arab village in Northern Israel: "Morad" seventeen, handsome, bright; he is content and loved by his pious Muslim parents and siblings. Disaster strikes when a note is confiscated and misinterpreted by his classmates, alleging inappropriate behavior with a female relative of one of the boys; he is catastrophically beaten, overcomes death, his body recovers but his mind has lost even a tenuous thread of sanity; incapable of speaking, manifesting all the symptoms of autism. The year is 2006. Dr. Kurz, a psychiatrist specializing in post traumatic stress and dissociative behavior suggests, after months of futile analysis, and the refusal of Morad's parents to place him in an institution, "Dolphin Therapy". A contemporary and controversial treatment for children suffering from autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome. There are organizations in Florida, Mexico, Australia, Ukraine and Israel. Morad and his father Asad go to Eliat, on the Red Sea; Asad pledges not to return home until his son is cured. The dolphins with polished, refined instincts rule their watery world; like Neptune, Poseidon, Naga they either accept or reject interlopers; Morad is a welcomed guest and steadily improves, becoming an admirable free diver. After three months and a monumental financial toll on his family, Morad speaks, reflecting "it was the first day of my life". Morad improves but the positive is balanced with the negative: he falls in love with a Jewish girl, but still cannot contemplate a return to his village; he is fearful of seeing his mother and siblings and is haunted by heinous nightmares; he has erased and refuses to speak of the crime perpetrated upon him. Mystifying is the ability of the dolphins to heal; is it a fallacy? Possibly, it is the power of acceptance that sooths the wounded psyche; not a modicum of hostility, just unquestionable love permeates a soundless cocoon; words are anathema, the gentlest caress from a slippery mammal provides an unfathomable, phenomenal, inspiring cure. FOUR STARS!!!! For Now.....Peneflix

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