Love, Asperger Syndrome and the Big Apple

“Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.” – Henry David Thoreau “Life has taught us that love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

What is love? Ask ten different people and you will doubtlessly receive ten different answers. With few exceptions, these responses will be emotional in nature, ranging from sentimental to deeply passionate, bittersweet to just plain bitter… Yet, ask a person with Asperger Syndrome the same question and you may provoke a spontaneous, longwinded lecture on the motivating role of dopamine and norepinephrine in human reproduction.

Chances are the Aspie knows his stuff, but if love is nothing more than a chemical reaction, what exactly is the reaction’s catalyst? What makes a person fall in or out of love? Do we choose love or does it choose us? Why are some willing to die for it and others spend their lives running from it? These are the mysteries that elevate love to mythic heights within the hearts and minds of neurotypicals. So you want to make that longwinded Aspie shut up? Just ask them to define “true love.”

Before being diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome [...] continue the story

The Existence

A famous Polish actor, 80-year-old Jerzy Nowak (featured in “Schindler’s List”, directed by S. Spielberg and Andrzej Wajda) decided that after death his body should not be buried, but used for the benefit of science. The documentary shows the process of making that decision, the actor’s dilemmas and important thoughts about death. In catholic countries – like Poland – the documentary will be controversial if only for its subject matter. This Polish actor is terminally ill and wants to tell the story from the perspective of a dying man. As an actor he wants to play his last role, at the same time the first leading one, and explain why he decided to donate his body to science. Personal, ironic, and often positive themes in the context of a fundamental, thought-provoking, taboo raising discussion. The film treats its subject in a way which is innovative even on the world scale.

Unbreakable Minds

Every child is born full of promise, ready to go forth into the world and meet his or her destiny. But for those diagnosed with schizophrenia in the prime of their lives, independence, acceptance, and even a place to call home usually slips beyond their grasp. Over three years, film-makers Abbey Jack Neidik and Irene Lilienheim Angelico followed three engaging young men living with mental illness. “Unbreakable Minds” captures the emotional journeys as they struggle with their inner demons and try to find their own place in a world that regards them with fear and hostility. With exceptional intimacy and honesty, these men speak about their darkest days and brightest triumphs, and take us with them to catch a vivid glimpse of what they go through and to experience schizophrenia from the inside out. Through their heroic examples, they also offer a challenge to society to smash this last taboo.

Petra

Petra tells the story of Petra Mueller. This woman escaped from Germany when she was 18 years old, traveling up to Spain. In the next years she built a family and found the love she had always wanted. Forty years later, she has cancer and she is engulfed in a serious battle for her life.

Living and Dying in Wait

In Quebec in 2008, the average wait time for the elderly infirm to get permanent placement in a public long-term care home is about a year. Temporary placements are sometimes available to patients coming from hospitals, but the families often have little or no say about where the patients get sent. Sometimes they die waiting.