This feature length comedy movie is about an autistic man on a mission to get a job and find a girlfriend!
Written and directed by Alonso Mayo following his autism research project in Peru, at the Ann Sullivan Center @annsullivanperu
That research also provided the material for his 2007 documentary about Autism in Peru: Just like Anyone
The Story of Luke took best film award at the San Diego Film Festival in September 2012.
- The first of a long string of Film Festival awards to date
There was more than a passing nod to ‘Adam’ with Luke, the protagonist, facing the uncertainty of where to live following the death of his grandmother.
Unlike Adam, Luke is an unremarkable character and in this regard, he was a far more accessible character than Adam and indeed made ‘autism’ far more accessible.
I couldn’t help thinking that Johnny Depp would have fitted the part perfectly, except for the fact that his high profile would have probably overwhelmed the movie.
The film maker goes out of his way to communicate the fact that Luke’s cousin’s girlfriend finds him cute.
I have previously mentioned on Twitter the fact that at and above a certain level of ‘high functioning’ some autistic males possess a secret weapon when it comes to women, which is………..they/we often have a tendency to bring out their maternal instinct.
Luke conducts a romantic pursuit of an attractive young lady, the receptionist where he attends his first job interview.
It never occurs to him that Maria does not share his feelings – mind blindness?
Luke is clearly socially naive and clumsy, but at no point did I find his portrayal exaggerated.
What was absurdly exaggerated was the supporting actor, Zach, a fellow Aspie and Luke’s co-worker.
Zach also happened to be the boss’ son and was acutely aware of Aspergers in relation to himself as well as in general.
Zach clearly had an intellect way above average and the privilege afforded to him as the boss’ son no doubt further fuelled his unbridled, unfiltered persona.
I saw much of me in Zach!
Despite this, Luke seemed to be far more ‘adjusted’ to life in the NT world than Zach.
Zach insists that Luke has ‘no hope with an NT woman’
He is partially correct, in that Luke had no hope with Maria, which Luke readily admits and accepts, once he understands that his feelings for her are not reciprocated.
But Zach is clearly oblivious to the ability of some Aspie men to arouse instinctive, loving and powerfully protective feelings in certain women.
At the conclusion of this wonderful film, I felt a strong sense of hope and optimism for Luke.
As for Zach, who drops out of the film, off camera and with only the vaguest of indirect references, my thoughts and feelings were of grave concern.
How would he manage without the security of his father’s coat tails, although I suspect he enjoyed the safety net of a trust fund.
I will conclude by repeating an earlier comment.
The Story of Luke makes the Autism experience of an intelligent young man far more accessible; certainly to me, hopefully to the wider Autism community and most of all, hopefully to the non-Autistic community.
Thank you Alonso, for taking the time to learn about us, during your extended visit to Peru, spending time with people and their families living with Autism.
The big takeaway for me is the message of Hope.
The Story of Luke