No one is going to mistake Wretches and Jabberers for Easy Rider. Yet the new documentary from director Gerardine Wurzburg could arguably be filed under “road movies” together with the iconic sixties film.
Wretches and Jabberers finds its story not only in the lives of two Vermont men with autism, Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher, but also in their 2009 cross-cultural journey when they traveled with their assistants, Pascal Cheng G’79 and Harvey Lavoy, to meet other autistic individuals, educators, and advocates in Sri Lanka, Japan, and Finland. The film is a logical extension from Wurzburg’s past work, which includes Educating Peter, an Academy Award nominated film about a boy with Down syndrome in a public school classroom, and Autism is a World, which follows a young woman with autism as she goes to college.
“Our goal was to shine a light on autism internationally. Larry and Tracy’s journey allowed us to portray the global face of autism through the personal stories of six men and women throughout the world,” Wurzburg says.