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.
Toronto is crawling with the movie stars you’d expect to see here, from Kevin Spacey to Colin Firth to Marion Cotillard. But there’s always room in the festival for a genuinely new face, and nobody at TIFF 2010 exhibits that quite as dramatically as Evan Sneider.
Sneider, a 31-year-old actor with Down syndrome, is the star of “Girlfriend,” the sweet, beguiling and at times wrenching feature debut from writer-director Justin Lerner about a small-town young man with Down who romantically pursues a single mom.
Maria Y Yo (Maria and Me), is a Spanish documentary based on the illustrated book by award-winning illustrator Miguel Gallardin in which he tells the story of life with his 14-year-old autistic daughter.
The Canadian documentary “Forgetful Not Forgotten” tells the story of one family’s experience with Alzheimer’s disease. It won Best International Film at the Indie Spirit Film Fest in Colorado Springs and will soon be showing in London.
A personal documentary about a family coping with Alzheimer’s disease is circulating across Canada and has made it’s way into the United States, where it has picked up a couple of awards.
Now Londoners have an opportunity to see it.
Forgetful Not Forgotten, by Montreal filmmaker Chris Wynn, and co-produced by TVOntario, will be screened June 21 at the Alzheimer Society London & Middlesex.
Wynn films his father John as he struggles with early-onset Alzheimer’s through to John’s final days. The documentary shows the past and present as the family comes to terms with the devastating disease.
Forgetful Not Forgotten also looks at the medical world of Alzheimer’s as Wynn tries to find answers to the disease’s hereditary component and the ramifications for his own future.