Date: Thursday, February 16, 2012 – 2:30 – 7:00pm
Location: Wechsler Theater in the Mary Graydon Center of American University
Join us for a Master Class with filmmaker Gerry Wurzburg at 2:30 pm followed by a screening of the documentary “Wretches and Jabberers” and Q&A starting at 5:30 pm.
Gerry Wurzburg’s documentary chronicles the world travels of disability rights advocates, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, in a bold quest to change attitudes about the intelligence and abilities of
people with autism. Until the 1980s, most children and young adults with autism in the US were excluded from normal schooling. Some were placed in mental institutions. Like many children with autism, Tracy and Larry grew up unable to speak. They faced a future of social isolation in adult disability centers. When Tracy was 23 and Larry 34, their lives changed when they learned to communicate by typing. Larry notes, “nothing I did…convinced people I had an inner life until I started typing.” In the film, Tracy and Larry take to the road to promote awareness of the hidden intelligence in those who face speech and communication challenges, connecting with others like them across the globe who struggle to find a means of expression.
Gerry Wurzburg is an Academy Award®-winning documentary producer and director whose work addresses disabilities, contemporary history, social justice, education and health. Major awards include an Academy Award® for the documentary Educating Peter, an Academy Award® nomination for Autism is a World, and the Cable ACE for Documentary Directing, among others. She is a recipient of three National Endowment for Arts grants, the Governor of Tokyo Prize and the Japan Prize. Her work is in the Broadcast Museum, the Lincoln Center Theater Library and the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences Library.
Excerpted from the Center for Social Media site.