In the film, Larry and Tracy travel to Sri Lanka, Japan, and Finland to attend forums to spread their message. In each of the three places they travel to, they meet other people like them. Needless to say, they make a huge impact in the conferences, not only with the people trying to learn more about autism but with their counterparts in the other countries. In particular, they meet Naoki in Japan. Naoki is a 16 year old boy with severe autism. While he is a budding artist and has published 10 books already, the Japanese education system will not allow him to attend school, so his mother home schools him. Tracy teaches him about advocacy, an idea he has never heard of before. When they meet in person and exchange ideas, it really fires Naoki up in a way he hasn't been before.
In Finland, Larry and Tracy meet two young adults who live in a group home, Henna and Ankki. Henna was the first person to master communication through typing in Finland. She spends her days doing pretty menial office work. Ankki is a clearly brilliant young man who is entirely misunderstood by the people trying to help him. They don't seem to be aware that this man, who is a talented writer, is capable of reading and make him use pictures to communicate. When Henna and Ankki meet Larry and Tracy, it is a truly eye-opening and life-changing experience for them.
While the movie's tone is overall upbeat, it does not sugar-coat the situation that Larry, Tracy, and their new friends are in. It shows their anger and frustration with autism. I didn't get the impression that Larry or Tracy, while both living very busy lives, were actually bringing in much money. Also, it shows that neither man is capable of living independently. Again, they are two men with severe autism.
This movie was totally successful at showing the perspective of people with severe autism. I don't think this perspective has been shown like this before. It's a really important film to see. Now for the bad news: it's a very difficult film to see. Some AMC theaters around the country are having some viewings in April for Autism Awareness Month. Please click on the link above to see if there's a viewing near you. There are some other viewings listed thereafter, but they're pretty limited. I'm hoping this film will get a decent distribution through video and become more available in the future. I cannot stress what an important film this is to see.
I was not solicited to write a review for this film and was not provided a copy of it for these purposes. I'm writing this post because I was truly moved by this movie and know a lot of other people will be moved by it as well.
Do what you can to see it!