In Stand Clear Of The Closing Doors, an autistic boy, played by an individual diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome, spends an indeterminate amount of time riding back and forth on the NYC subway system while in a fugue state of both body and mind, having fled his accustomed areas in the midst of an emotional upset.
After having exhausted her secular remedies, calling the police, talking with the clerk of his favorite store, and looking for him in the neighborhood, the boy’s worried mother is seen attending church the following Sunday. The backs of other women standing and singing are seen, and the service is held in Spanish. However, it is made painfully obvious that she is merely “going through the motions”. Though this film is not, strictly speaking, about religion, religion is subtly present in this family’s daily life. She wears a golden cross, and evidence of cultural Catholicism is seen throughout the family’s apartment: a Sacred Heart icon here, a crucifix there.
Later on, when the boy’s father returns from his job upstate to join the search effort, the remaining family members attend church together. As a group, they have a stronger presence, and seem more focused on the service (which this time features louder singing). Surely, on both occasions, prayers are said for the return of the missing boy.
In the lead-up to the conclusion of the movie, in what might qualify as a moment of divine significance, the lost boy has returned home safely during the duration of the Mass, and as Mother and Father are coming up the stairs and they see each other, the joyous reunion and happy ending ensue.

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