The film offers a look into the lives of people with autism while challenging generally held opinions in society about this developmental disorder. This is an unusual film about the environment in families with autistic children, which reveals the day-to-day challenge of life with them. It is not, however, built on dialogue and testimony, but on specific, naturally occurring situations in which it contemplates the issues of familial and romantic love for people with autism. The documentary was made over the course of seven years in cooperation with a nonprofit organization called the Andreas Autism Centre, which provides expert and comprehensive support to people with autism, as well as to their families.
Oficial website: www.takdalekotakblizko.sk/en
Producer: Barbara Harumová Hessová
Coproducer: Kateřina Nakládalová
Story and Screenplay: Marek Leščák, Jaro Vojtek
Director: Jaro Vojtek
DOP: Noro Hudec, Jaro Vojtek
Editor: Peter Harum
Sound design: Dušan Kozák
Sound mixing by: Bohumil Martinák
Production and distribution of this film was supported by Audiovisual fund.
|Title:||Tak ďaleko, tak blízko|
|Running time:||80 minút|
|Film format:||1920×1080 25p, 16:9, COLOUR|
|Medium:||DCP 25p, Blu-ray, DVD|
|Year of premiere:||2015|
|Year of production:||2014|
|Copyright:||AH production, Andreas n.o., RTVS|
As the parents of these children have realized, I too came to understand with time that it’s not possible to penetrate the world of autism. The only way is to observe it from the outside, get close to it through the children’s relationships with their surroundings and their loved ones. I tried to shoot what is different about life for autistic people, what distinguishes their ordinary existence from ours. People with autism have their needs and it is a question of how the families around them fulfil these needs and to what extent it influences their own lives. One interesting discovery was that these children’s parents had understood that they have to forget about medicines, forget about various treatment methods and try to create the kind of environment that these children need the most, where they feel the best.
For this reason, the film So Far, So Near is about the creation of special relationships between those with autism, their families and the people around them. This symbiosis is often about the denial of one’s own personal needs in favour of the needs of the autistic person. I strived to choose protagonists with various types of autism so that I could create a multi-coloured and more three-dimensional picture of this disorder, which defies (often distorted) generalization. Autism is not about being a genius, being gifted or being totally withdrawn. The relationship of parents to an autistic child is above all about sacrifice and difficult everyday care.
To the rest of us, who had until then had no experience with this subject, the plan seemed too bold. But when we thought more deeply about it, we had to admit that it was just the thing needed to enlighten people. It happened then and happens to this day that people’s consciousness and image of those who have the disorder is significantly distorted. There is an opinion that it is now a modern diagnosis and the number of those diagnosed is growing thanks only to better diagnostic methods. But this cannot be entirely true, since statistics in the world are alarming and indicate a incidence of one child in 100 born as compared to one in 5,000 15-20 years ago. We often meet with another opinion – that these are gifted children who have certain ingenious gifts and capabilities, which we just have to find in them. The film Rainman partially contributed to this distorted point of view. It was one of the first that dealt with this diagnosis on a global scale, but it only presented highly functioning autism in the tiniest representative case. Everyday life with autism is, to a very high degree, diametrically different from the story in the film. It often exists alongside mental retardation, metabolic disorders, aggression and auto-aggression. Causal treatment of autism, despite years-long research efforts, does not exist and the only thing available is behavioural approaches for improving these people’s quality of life and developing their ability to communicate with their surroundings.
In addition to our colleague Martina, to whom we say a big THANK YOU, there were other people on the path to today’s introduction of this film onto the market. Without these people, we would have had trouble orienting ourselves in an area that was new to us. For a nonprofit organization, taking on the role of producer was biting off more than we could chew. So we took Jaro Vojtek’s advice and decided to work together with the production firm AH Production. Thus, our cooperation with producer Barbara Harumova Hessova began. During seven long years, while our long and time-consuming project gradually took shape and became what it is today, lovely friendships also emerged between all of those who took part in the film’s creation. We felt their strong support, for which we are extremely grateful.
Today I am very excited that seven years after we first met with director Jaro Vojtek, a documentary film that strives to bring life with autism in Slovak families closer to the viewer has actually arrived. I believe that in addition to being educational, it will also be a platform for further discussion about this society wide problem that is growing at an alarming rate.
Barbara Harumová Hessová
- Behind The Scenes Photos ZIP 71,2 kB
- Presskit (PDF) PDF 899.2 kB
- Still photos ZIP 71.2 MB
- Credits PDF 98.5 kB
- Presskit (Word) DOCX 694.0 kB
- About autism PDF 20.7 kB
- So Far So Near – POSTER – JPG preview JPG 446.8 kB
- So Far So Near – POSTER – PDF high quality PDF 10.9 MB
- Tlačová správa – ITAFILM 30. marca 2015 PDF 108,9 kB