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photo How I Am
(Wie Ich Bin)
By Ingrid Demetz, Caroline Leitner,
and Daniel Mazza

"I'm like a hermit on an island," is the way Patrick Wanker describes his life with autism. With the dreams and fears of a teenager, but with wisdom and pain beyond his years, Patrick invites us into his emotional world through the words he painstakingly types into his computer. Set in a small, Italian mountain town, and using only Patrick's words, this beautifully filmed documentary reveals how painfully lonely life can be for a teen with severe disabilities. The people he encounters each day are clumsy and uncertain about how to interact with him. At school and at home, his inability to communicate and lack of social skills make it nearly impossible for Patrick to build relationships, yet he remains optimistic for the future of his family, including his younger brother, who also has autism.

The filmmakers do not attempt to offer a scientific explanation for autism, nor a catalog of its symptoms. Instead, they have given Patrick the opportunity to reach us through his own words, presenting his subjective description of what it means for a young person to live with autism.

49 minutes
© 2008
Purchase $248.00 DVD
Order No. QA-505
ISBN (DVD) 1-57295-505-8

"How I Am excels in capturing Patrick's remarkable touching lucidity and surprisingly calm core, buried beneath so much external chaos. Highly Recommended." Video Librarian

"From the very first scene of this film we understand that Patrick realizes and fully comprehends the awesome wonders of the world, but he is unable to enjoy them because his body will not follow what his brain wants him to do. Recommended." Educational Media Reviews Online

Awards & Conference Screenings
American Library Association,
2009 Notable Videos for Adults
True/False Film Festival
Special Jury Award, Mostrari Festival
Grand Prize, Message to Man Festival
First Prize, International Student Film Festival
Sprout Film Festival
DOX BOX 09, Official Selection
Margret Mead Film & Video Festival

Related Films
Refrigerator Mothers: From the 1950's through the 1970's, autism was widely blamed on cold and rejecting mothers. This film explores the devastating impact of this misdiagnosis through the stories of seven mothers and their children.

Two Worlds — One Planet: This documentary brings Autism syndrome out of the shadows, stressing that young people with developmental disabilities can learn and grow, if their individual needs, styles, and abilities are respected. It takes an upbeat look at students attending a private day school.

The Spectrum of Autism: Children with autism may display a wide range of symptoms. In this video, we share in the experiences of several families and professionals who care for children at different points on the spectrum of autism.

The Boy Inside: The distressing story of the filmmaker's son Adam, a 12-year-old with Asperger Syndrome, during a tumultuous year in the life of their family. AS makes Adam's life in seventh grade a minefield, where he finds himself isolated and bullied. As he struggles to find a place for himself, his troubles escalate, both at school and at home.


Awards & Screenings

Related Films

Web Resources

To rent or purchase this film, please visit the Icarus Films website