The Sunshine Boy/A Mother’s Courage

The Sunshine boy

A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism.

Imagine not being able to engage with the world around you. Imagine not being able to express your feelings, dreams and aspirations to anyone, even if those feelings, dreams and aspirations are in no way less or inferior to those of other people. Imagine having to depend upon the assistance of others with every mundane task, like dressing or feeding yourself. Imagine living with all of these limitations, despite being of sound mind — aware of everything that is going on around you but incapable of letting anyone know.

A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism (a.k.a The Sunshine Boy), a documentary by Fridrik Thor Fridriksson, tells the story of Margret, a mother who has done everything in her power to help her son. Keli is eleven years old and is severely autistic – his mother doesn‘t even know if he understands Icelandic, let alone other languages. Even if Margret holds no unrealistic expectations on behalf of Keli, she has the quenchless thirst for knowledge about the mysterious and complex condition that autism undeniably is. Along they way, Margret meets other families and hears their unique stories about how they too have been touched by autism.

On a course set to include the United States and Europe, she meets with scientists in the field of autism and autism therapies and the parents of autistic children who share her passion: to break down the wall between the children and the surrounding world. This journey becomes lengthier and more dramatic than she envisioned at the start. During the trip, she catches a glimpse of hope that her son can be helped to a larger degree than previously assumed.

Perhaps it is possible to break down the wall of autism and get to know the individual behind it?

A Mother’s Courage: Talking Back to Autism (a.k.a The Sunshine Boy) is narrated by Academy Award-winning actress Kate Winslet.

Credit list:

Directed by 
Friðrik Þór Friðriksson

Margrét Dagmar Ericsdóttir – Documentary host

Margrét Dagmar Ericsdóttir

Margrét Dagmar Ericsdóttir

Associate Producers

Kristin Olafsdottir
John Purdie

Sigur Rós, Björk

Jón Karl Helgason

Film Editing 
Þuríður Einarsdóttir

Sound Department 

Kjartan Kjartansson









The film has been honored at the 62nd annual Christopher awards, the recipients of which, according to Mary Ellen Robinson, vice president of The Christophers, “creatively demonstrate the transformative impact that faith, courage and action can have on people’s lives.”

Best Sound 

Documentary of the Year

Best Editing

Toronto International Film Festival (2009)
Busan International Film Festival
Two Riversides Film and Art Festival
Art Festival, Polland (2012)

Europe on Screen, Jakarta, Indonesia (2012)
Santé, International Health Film Festival, France (2012)
Imagésanté, International Health Film Festival (2011)
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Retro (2011)
ImagéSanté International Health Film Festival
International Film Festival Breda (2010)
Off Plus Camera (2010)
Festroia International Film Festival (2010)
Artfilmfest International Film Festival (2010)
Gimli Film Festival (2010)
Vancouver International Film Festival (2010)
Göteborg International Film Festival (2010)
Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, Icelandic and Norwegian Day (2010)
Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival