The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Tuesday, July 19, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

Local moms organize screening of inspiring film about autism advocates

  • "Wretches & Jabberers" features Tracy Thresher (left) and Larry Bissonnette.

    Douglas Biklen

    "Wretches & Jabberers" features Tracy Thresher (left) and Larry Bissonnette.

Two local mothers who have children diagnosed with autism wanted to help change some attitudes.
They decided to do that with a documentary.
Kristi Eisenkraft and Amanda Loaris saw the documentary by filmmaker Gerardine Wurzburg titled "Wretches & Jabberers."
The two mothers were so moved by the film that they organized a special screening set for Thursday in Everett to bring the film's message to Snohomish County.
Eisenkraft and Loaris met through the Arc of Snohomish County's Leadership Development Program. The Arc is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the rights of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families.
The moms were compelled to spread the voices of autism advocates Tracy Thresher and Larry Bissonnette who are the stars of the film.
"Wretches & Jabberers" follows Thresher, 42, and Bissonnette, 52, on a global roadtrip to Sri Lanka, Japan and Finland. At each stop, the men dissect public attitudes about autism and inspire the locals to take up the challenge of reconsidering the level of competency of someone diagnosed with autism, according to the documentary's website.
Wurzburg, an Oscar winner, chronicles the world mission of these two men, who after more than 10 years of advocating for those with autism, felt it was time to take their message global.
Growing up, Thresher and Bissonnette were presumed to have a low intelligence and faced lives of social isolation in mental institutions or adult disability centers. They learned as adults to communicate by typing, and their lives changed dramatically, the website says.
This documentary not only captures the encounters the two men have with young people with autism and their parents, but takes the audience on an exploration of global sights and culture. They dodge through Sri Lankan traffic in motorized tuk-tuks, discuss the purpose of life with a Buddhist monk, and relax in a traditional Finnish sauna.
"Wretches & Jabberers" will be showing at 7 p.m. Thursday at Historic Everett Theatre, 2911 Colby Ave., Everett. Admission is a $5 donation at the door with proceeds to benefit The Arc of Snohomish County. For more information about the film visit
Before the film begins, members of Arc of Snohomish County will give a brief introduction to the group including information about local resources. For more information about the Arc call 425-258-2459 or go to
Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424;

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.