The title of Gerardine Wurzburg's autism documentary, "Wretches & Jabberers," comes from a remark made by Antti, a Finnish autistic man, who notes that the world can be divided into two camps based on the capacity — or inability — to speak freely and without effort.
"We poor wretches are better than jabberers," the 21-year-old Antti jokes. "They don't know it yet, but we will tell it to them …"
Wurzburg's advocacy documentary gives a voice to those with autism and takes up Antti's request to "dispel the darkness around us poor wretches. Take us for real people. Don't sideline us." Opening in a limited theatrical run, the film will undoubtedly have a long afterlife as an educational tool to challenge and perhaps change people's notions about autism.
The movie follows two autistic men — Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonette, 52 — as they leave their Vermont homes and embark, along with their tireless assistants, on a global tour to talk about their cause. As they hopscotch from Sri Lanka to Japan and then Finland, the two meet reporters, take in the local sights, reunite with old friends and make some new ones.