Canadian Journal of Disability

Review of Film

“(Wretches & Jabberers) presupposes one thing that most films about autism do not: autistic competence. Most films about autism or autistic people never show autistic people speaking for themselves or as experts of their own experience. Typically, a medical professional will interpret autism for a viewing audience. In contrast, Wretches & Jabberers focuses on the subjects’ ‘voices’.”

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Huffington Post

Conversing with Leading Man Tracy Thresher

“Leading man Tracy,” as he jokingly refers to himself, is a terrific public speaker. I have seen him speak, by typing, many times now, and each and every time I am riveted. It isn’t just the poetic way Tracy puts words together, it is his humanity, his humor, generosity, and ultimately, his tremendous compassion for this world and the people who inhabit it, that makes people sit up and listen to every word he taps out one painstaking letter at a time.”

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Emma’s Hope Book

Why Wretches & Jabberers is essential viewing.

“It rattles our unexamined biases, our beliefs, our perceptions and everything we are being “told” about autism, and what is and isn’t possible.”

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Los Angeles Daily News

“Meet the ‘rock stars’ of autism rights”

“Larry Bissonnette and Tracy Thresher are on their way to becoming the rock stars of autism rights self-advocacy. Oscar-winning filmmaker Gerardine Wurzburg certainly thought so the first time she heard the charismatic and passionate duo (who communicate by typing on a talking computer) speak at a conference in Los Angeles three years ago. As she remembers it, they were riffing about creating a sensation on the world stage. “They wanted T-shirts, they wanted hats, but they weren’t going to burn their communication devices like Jimi Hendrix did,” she says, chuckling at the recollection. “They were just so funny and so full of life. I thought, `You know, there’s something here…”‘”

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USA Today

Film gives voice to autism’s silent minority

“Part advocacy film, part road trip/buddy movie, Wretches & Jabberers follows Tracy Thresher, 43, and Larry Bissonnette, 53, as they travel from their hometowns in Vermont to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland to meet other advocates and educators, and shed light on the inner lives of autistic people with little or no speech. Along the way there is humor, sadness, insight and even a hint of romance…”

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The Wall Street Journal

An Autism Documentary Aims to Go Beyond ‘Rain Man’

“Thirty years ago, doctors constantly misdiagnosed autistic children, which resulted in autistics like Vermont natives Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette being institutionalized and shunned from society. A couple of years ago, the friends embarked on an international mission to educate the world on autism and to prove just because they can’t communicate fully it doesn’t mean they aren’t intelligent…”

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Parade Magazine

A New Film Explodes Myths About Autism

“The new documentary Wretches & Jabberers follows the journey of two autistic men—Larry Bissonnette, 52, an artist; Tracy Thresher, 42, an advocate—as they travel the world, attempt to banish the myths about autism, and reveal its global face. PARADE spoke to the pair behind the film—Academy-Award-winning director/producer Gerry Wurzburg and co-producer Douglas Biklen, who is also the dean of the School of Education at Syracuse University and author of Autism and the Myth of the Person Alone, to find out why and how they made it…”

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MSNBC (“Morning Joe” Interview)

Film examines ‘lost generation’ with autism

“April is Autism Awareness Month, and Academy Award-winning director Gerardine Wurzburg joins ‘Morning Joe’ to discuss her new film “Wretches & Jabberers”, which follows two men with autism to change attitudes about the disability…”

The Hollywood Reporter

“…Show rather than tell, entertain rather than preach…”

“Gerardine Wurzburg’s Wretches & Jabberers may be the best film you’ll see on a subject you probably want to avoid — although you’d be wrong about that. Yes, it’s a documentary about autism but it’s also nearly perfect in doing what an advocacy doc should do: show rather than tell, entertain rather than preach. If this is your first exposure to the world of autism, it will be an eye opener…”

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The Associated Press

For Those With Autism, Documentary Offers New Hope

“When Tracy Thresher has something to say, he uses his right index finger – and a special computer that gives voice to what he types. Hunched over the device, he begins. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap. Tap, tap, tap, tap….”

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Variety Magazine

…ability to mix humor and emotion is the strong suit of this upbeat, music-saturated doc…

“The ability to mix humor and emotion is the strong suit of this upbeat, music-saturated documentary. “Try to ignore the man behind the curtain,” cracks one of the principals in “Wretches & Jabberers,” a global road movie about a pair of autistic men and their campaign to alter attitudes about their condition. No one expects a “Wizard of Oz” joke in an autism documentary, nor certainly one made poignant: The men harbor keen intelligence behind their autistic “curtain.” But the ability to mix humor and emotion is the strong suit of this upbeat, music-saturated docu, which is likely to receive the kind of edu-circuit exposure at which it seems aimed…”

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Newsweek Magazine

Autism Finds Its Voice

“Four new friends sit around a table at an outdoor café in Helsinki, typing on handheld devices. Shyly, Tracy sends Henna a message asking if she might like to visit him. Avoiding eye contact, Henna types back that she will need to ask her mother. The scene could be that of any group of teenagers, awkward and bashful, more comfortable texting than engaging in face-to-face conversation. The difference is that the typists range from young adults to middle-aged. And all of them are autistic…”

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LA Times

“J. Ralph and musician friends sing the sound of autism in ‘Wretches & Jabberers’ album”

“One of the most immediately striking elements of Gerardine Wurzburg’s autism documentary “Wretches & Jabberers” is the exceptionally poetic terms many of the subjects of her film come up with to express themselves…”

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 Variety Magazine

“Generation and genre-spanning companion soundtrack…”

“In the ongoing renaissance of innovative music scoring for documentaries, composer- songwriter J. Ralph, who scored such recent docs as “The Cove” and “Man on Wire” and made song contributions to “Crazy Love,” has certainly played a part. But his scoring work for recently released autism docu “Wretches and Jabberers” has taken on a strange life of its own, birthing a after the fact, all composed with a recording philosophy that closely mirrors the film’s subject…”

Planet of the Blind Blog 
By Stephen Kuusisto

“I am lucky today to be in Burlington, VT for the premiere of Gerry Wurzburg’s new film: “Wretches and Jabberers”–a film that follows the travels of two non-speaking autistic men from Vermont as they circle the globe to meet other autistic people who communicate by typing…”