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Matthew’s Laws

.
Marc Schmidt / 2012

Filmmaker Marc Schmidt reveals the life of his childhood friend Matthijs, afflicted with autism. Fragile but of exceptional intelligence, he establishes a system for analysing and controlling every moment of his life. Little by little the film unravels Matthew’s complex way of thinking and shows the catastrophic consequences it eventually has for him.


See More
Running Time: 72 min.
Subject(s): Author's POV, Disability, Health
Language(s): Dutch
Subtitles: English
Director(s):
Producer(s): Simone van den Broek, Renske see all »
Cinematographer: Aage Hollander
Editor(s): Katarina Turler
Production Company: Basaltfilm

Press

  • Planete+ Doc Film Festival Jury
    The film captivated us with its deeply respectful, loving human perspective and powerful storytelling. Throughout the film we remain in direct eye-contact with the main character which gives a brutal, yet disarming insight into the vulnerable inner life of a deeply troubled mind
  • RIDM Jury
    For the filmmaker’s sincere commitment to presenting his subject’s daily struggles with an unassuming measured eye and without surrendering to pathos. The symbiotic relationship between filmmaker, subject and audience is one that’s not forced but earned in a series of delicate movements slowly revealing the wide expanses of Matthew’s interior world, which is every bit as unique and extraordinary as the filmmaking itself.
  • Visions du Réel Jury
    “With love and courage the filmmaker places us face to face with his childhood friend. This film crosses a border into the unknown and mysterious world of autism. Matthew’s Laws gives us the opportunity to experience friendship and self-determination in the face of society’s demands from a unique point of view.

Festival & Awards

  • Visions du Reel
    Grand Prix International feature Length Documentary
  • RIDM
    GRAND PRIZE for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE and BEST EDITING
  • Taiwan IDF
    Special Merit Prize
  • Camerimage
    Special Mention Award
  • Open City Docs London
    Grand Jury Award
  • Netherlands FF
    Grand Prix for Best Feature Length Documentary & Audience Award for Best Documentary

additional materials

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Matthew’s Laws gives us the rarest of all experiences – complete insight into how life occurs from the point of view of someone whose world is radically different to our own. It also gives us a direct experience of how the world designed for so-called ‘normal’ people can make life unliveable those who are different - a phenomenon we then simply call ‘their disability’. Spending 90 minutes with Matthew would make us all more human and hospitable to human beings who are a little different to us. This film, and Matthew, in all his poignant beauty and pain, will never leave you. - Prof Danielle Celermajer
Prof Danielle Celermajer, November 16, 2015

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