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Martian Child Review

I recently rented the film Martian Child. It was a film I wanted to see since I saw the first commercials for it, but at the time it was showing in the theatre I didn’t have time to go see it.

Martian Child is a film about a science fiction writer who adopts an eight-year-old boy who claims, and appears to sincerely believe that he is a Martian sent to earth to study human culture.

Through the film the boy, Dennis, exhibits various strange behaviors such as sorting through the garbage, avoiding the sun, and wearing a weight belt so that he will not float away in earths gravity.

The adoptive father, played by John Cusack, takes a permissive attitude toward the belief through most of the film, deciding that it is really harmless, and that if that is his coping mechanism, then there are a lot worse ones. He often goes along with Dennis’s beliefs, and tries his best to help and understand him. This is a refreshing stance in comparison to other adults in the film who see Dennis’s belief as maladaptive, childish, and in need of correction.

There is much in the film that otakukin and otherkin will appreciate and find familiar. Particularly heartfelt and sympathetic is when the boy goes to a science museum exhibit on Mars and see that it is barren. “I think I must be from a different mars” he whispers.

Much like in Miracle on 34th Street (another great otakukin movie in my opinion) there is never a clear resolution as to if the boy is from Mars or not. No real evidence to either argument is presented, leaving the viewer to draw his or her own conclusions. In the end Dennis agrees to stay on earth for a while longer and live with his understanding human father.

The movie is charming, heartfelt, warm and funny. It presents a gentle and realistic portrayal of those of us who believe ourselves other than human, or not of this world. I would recommend it to any otherkin or otakukin, and I would recommend it to anyone at all who is looking for a sincere family movie.

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