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The Black Balloon

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The Black Balloon is a bright and sunny Australian film about tolerance and the difficulties of being a teenager, best suited for young audiences if not explicitly aimed at them. Thomas and his family move to a new town just as he turns 16. Trying to fit in to a new school is complicated by his older brother Charlie, who suffers from autism and is given to running around the neighborhood in his underwear. One jaunt chasing after his brother results in an awkward but intriguing introduction to Jackie, who also happens to be in Thomas' swim class at school. In the film's unmistakable pitch for understanding, Jackie is not at all put off by Charlie, but Thomas is embarrassed by him. When Thomas' mother becomes bedridden due to a complicated pregnancy, he is put in charge of watching Charlie, who becomes an even more funny interference between the two teens. More sweet than dramatic, the film isn't shy about body humor, which gives it some funny surprises. — Will Coviello

The Black Balloon

Directed by Elissa Down

Starring Rhys Wakefield, Gemma Ward, Luke Ford, Erik Thomson and Toni Collette

7 p.m. Tue-Wed., Jan. 13-14; 7 p.m. Fri., Jan. 16

Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center, 1618 Oretha Castle Haley Blvd., 827-5858; www.zeitgeistinc.net


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