Spectrum: A Story of the Mind

Spectrum: A Story of the Mind

Sat, 01/13/2018 - 3:30pm

As part of our Dialogue on Disability programming, WXXI is pleased to present the first documentary to explore autism as sensory-based experiences. Spectrum: A Story of the Mind airs Saturday, January 13, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV. Imagine a world where words taste and thoughts feel, where sounds swell with color and leaves on trees change tones visible to the naked eye, where eye contact with another can cause physical pain. This world, both beautiful and overwhelming, exists for those in the award-winning film Spectrum: A Story of the Mind

Spectrum shares a series of character-driven portraits from a diverse group of people on the autism spectrum. While poet and author Tito Mukhopadhyay is nonverbal, he articulates his experiences through his writing. He’s been featured on BBC, 60 Minutes and National Geographic. Artist Judy Endow uses painting to express her shifting and often chaotic visual perception. Aikido artist Nick Walker finds an unexpected beauty in the art of fluid movement and discovers the advantage of his perception through martial arts. “Autism is not a disorder,” says Walker. “It’s not a way of being broken. I have a unique way of seeing things.”

Producer Jill Jones created the film to spark the imaginations of typical people. "This film goes beyond awareness into acceptance. We want everyone to see it, to challenge the current view of autism, create conversations leading to new perceptions,” said Jones. “Our society often mistakenly views people on the spectrum with fear, as lacking empathy. We explore worlds where lights, sounds, colors affect behavior hoping to educate and inspire empathy from neurotypical people.” Spectrum premiered at the United Nations Headquarters for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities and went on to win several awards including the Cine Golden Eagle Award for ‘Best Documentary Short’.

This  program is part of Dialogue on Disability, a partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies designed to stimulate community dialogue about the perspectives and abilities of people with physical and intellectual disabilities. During the week-long initiative, which runs January 8 through January 14, 2018, WXXI presents special programming on TV, radio, and at the Little Theatre.

Dialogue on Disability is made possible through support from the Fred L. Emerson Foundation. The partnership between WXXI and Al Sigl Community of Agencies is supported by the Golisano Foundation and Move to Include, a project designed to build a more inclusive community by inspiring and motivating people to embrace different abilities and include all people in every aspect of community life.