Wretches & Jabberers

A superb new film following the The World Intelligence Magnified Tour of Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher.

From the press release:

The first stop is Sri Lanka, where they visit old friend Chammi Rajapatirana, 35, who they have met at conferences in the US. Together, the group meets with parents of children with autism to demonstrate their communication skills, answer their urgent questions, and appeal to the parents to believe in their children's innate intelligence. "You will be surprised how often we make wrong assumptions about ability," Chammi tells the group.

In Japan, Tracy and Larry meet 16-year-old Naoki Higashida. Naoki is an accomplished artist who has published more than ten books of his stories and drawings but is denied access to public school. Meeting Tracy and Larry is a revelation to him. He says, "I never had a conversation like this with people that communicate the way I do." He eagerly joins the men in presenting at a national autism conference at Tokyo University.

The world divided into "Wretches" and "Jabberers"

Their final trip is to Helsinki, Finland where they are interviewed by a Finnish filmmaker and present at the Autism Foundation Conference. Here, they meet Antti Lappalainen, 21, and Henna Laulainen, 23. Both are accomplished in their ability to communicate through typing and yet, spend their days doing meaningless chores in adult disabilities centers. Antti says, "Language is everything I am. Completely different than my misunderstood appearance."

"We poor wretches are better than Jabberers"

It is Antti who humorously declares the world divided into "Wretches" - those with limited speech - and "Jabberers" - those who can speak freely. He tells the group, "We poor wretches are better than Jabberers. They don't know it yet, but we will tell it to them [at the conference]." At the end of that conference, Antti strikes a more serious note, asking the audience to "dispel the darkness around us poor wretches.

Take us for real people.

Don't sideline us."

4 Replies:

Adelaide Dupont said...

I loved reading Tracy and Larry's blogs today.

Intelligence magnified!

Norton Can't Remember His Password. said...

Pretty damn smart to get someone to pay for a world tour... and for a good cause ;)

Casdfok said...

I have yet to see this film :)

mental health girl said...

This is very interesting, thanks for posting :)

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