Wretches and Jabberers: And Stories from the Road is a powerful, moving documentary that follows two men with autism as they travel the world, visiting friends with autism and changing attitudes about disabilities along the way.
The potentially groundbreaking film opens in 40 cities in April to commemorate National Autism Awareness Month.
Many people with autism have extremely limited verbal skills or no speech whatsoever. It has long been assumed by the general public, and even by many parents, educators, and caretakers that scant speech equals low intelligence.
In Wretches and Jabberers, the movie’s protagonists dispel this myth. The two men and the four friends they visit show the world that they are in fact exceedingly intelligent, eloquent in their writings, and charmingly funny. Like Helen Keller before them, the “wretches” in the movie are pioneers, blazing trails for others to follow. The message of the movie is to show the world that there are others like them who are vastly underestimated and whose potential is untapped. It is a message of hope.
The film follows Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonnette, 52, both from Vermont, as they travel to Sri Lanka, Japan, and Finland to visit friends during their globetrotting tour who, like them, type independently to communicate.
Academy Award-winning filmmaker Gerardine Wurzburg directed the feature documentary.
Thresher, Bissonnette, and the friends they visit can all type independently. But they first learned to communicate using supported typing (click here for an article about that technique).
The soundtrack was written by J. Ralph, with songs performed by a star-studded group of artists including Judy Collins, Ben Harper, Scarlett Johansson, Nic Jones, Norah Jones, Carly Simon, Stephen Stills, and Bob Weir.
Click here to read the rest of my Wretches and Jabberers article on Examiner.com.