York U to screen film on autism, host panel with stars and director

Partial poster of film Wretches and Jabbers

Two men with autism, who shed light on the disorder to change attitudes, and York University Visiting Professor Gerardine Wurzburg, who captured their quest in a documentary film, will be on hand for a free screening of the film Friday.

Poster of film Wretches and JabbersThe men were on a global quest and world tour to alter attitudes about disability and intelligence. The film, Wretches & Jabberers, will screen Oct. 24 at 4:30 at the Price Family Cinema, Accolade East Building, Keele campus. An audience discussion will follow. Everyone is welcome to attend.

Wretches & Jabberers has received critical acclaim as an eye-opener and myth buster about autism. Professor Zulfikar Hirji, graduate program director in the Department of Anthropology will moderate the discussion with Wurzburg, the film’s Academy Award-winning director and producer.

In the film, Tracy Tresher and Larry Bissonnette travel to Finland, Japan and Sri Lanka, determined to put a new face on autism. At each stop, they dissect public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful challenge to reconsider competency and the future. Along the way, the two also inspire other young men and women with autism with a poignant narrative of personal struggle that rings with intelligence, humour, hope and courage.

“We are thrilled to have the stars of the film and disability rights advocates Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher join us along with Wurzburg to offer insight into the film and the global perception on autism as they experienced during their trip,” says Professor Albert Schrauwers, chair of the anthropology department, which will host the event.

A similar screening with discussion is organized at the Bloor Hot Docs Cinema on Oct. 25.