‘100 Cities, One Night for Autism’ features acclaimed, ‘Wretches & Jabberers’ Thursday at Marquee Pullman

Edited from a Press Release
‘100 Cities, One Night for Autism’ features  acclaimed, ‘Wretches & Jabberers’ Thursday at Marquee Pullman

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (HNN) – Huntington is one of 100 cities across the United States participating Thursday, May 12, in “100 Cities, One Night for Autism,” a unique theatrical screening of the critically acclaimed documentary, “Wretches & Jabberers,” sponsored nationally by the John P. Hussman Foundation and the Autism Society.

Locally the film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. in the Marquee Cinema in downtown Huntington. This showing is sponsored by the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University, the Autism Services Center and the Autism Society – River Cities.

“Wretches & Jabberers” follows two men with autism, Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette, who embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability, intelligence and communication. The feature film is about personal struggles and the power of relationships and the personal connections people make through communication.

“We encourage everyone in our community to come and see this film. It is an eye opener about perceptions of disability,” said Dr. Barbara Becker-Cottrill, director of the West Virginia Autism Training Center at Marshall University.

The documentary was directed by Academy Award winner Gerardine Wurzburg (“Educating Peter”) with a soundtrack featuring original music by composer J. Ralph.

According to the film's website, two men with autism embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability and intelligence. Determined to put a new face on autism, Tracy Thresher, 42, and Larry Bissonnette, 52, travel to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland. At each stop, they dissect public attitudes about autism and issue a hopeful challenge to reconsider competency and the future.

Growing up, Thresher and Bissonnette were presumed “retarded” and excluded from normal schooling. With limited speech, they both faced lives of social isolation in mental institutions or adult disability centers. When they learned as adults to communicate by typing, their lives changed dramatically. Their world tour message is that the same possibility exists for others like themselves.

Between moving and transformative encounters with young men and women with autism, parents and students, Thresher and Bissonnette take time to explore local sights and culture; dipping and dodging through Sri Lankan traffic in motorized tuk-tuks, discussing the purpose of life with a Buddhist monk and finally relaxing in a traditional Finnish sauna. Along the way, they reunite with old friends, expand the isolated world of a talented young painter and make new allies in their cause.

From beginning to end, Thresher and Bissonnette inspire parents and young men and women with autism with a poignant narrative of personal struggle that always rings with intelligence, humor, hope and courage.

For more on the film, visit:  http://www.wretchesandjabberers.org/about.php

This is not the first time that autism has been featured on screen. Dustin Hoffman won an Academy Award for his performance in best picture winner, "Rain Man," in which he played an autistic savant. The movie had its world premiere at the Keith Albee.

The Autism Society is the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization dedicated to improving the lives of all affected by autism. The mission of the John P. Hussman Foundation is to provide life-changing assistance through medical research, education and direct aid to vulnerable individuals having urgent needs or significant disabilities

Watch the flicks trailer, by clicking on the You Tube video space. For more information, call 1-800-344-5115.