Documentary

75 Min.

Director/Author: Chiara Sambuchi

Production: Lavafilm

Wrong Planet

Rainer perceives the world like through a wall of glass that always separates him from the other people. He calls those other people “NTs”, which means “neurologically typical”, that is all normal people. Rainer watches them just like an extraterrestrial would watch foreign creatures when he lands on the wrong planet. The special form of autism that all three protagonists of the film have has been termed “Wrong Planet Syndrome”. Rainer, Nicole, and Hendrik are Asperger-autists, brillant and highly intelligent personalities who often experience the world around them as something they don’t understand.

Rainer doesn’t like small talk and social rituals and so he doesn’t participate in them. To get involved into talks is a serious and sometimes also strenuous matter for Nicole, so any communication has to be planned. Spontaneity for her means a change of her plans and therefore is very problematic because plans give her the stability in a world that is alien to her. The 14-years old Hendrik often has the impression that an Asperger-autist behaves so strange that he doesn’t even notice how strange he is. Still once a week he jumps full of joy on the trampoline during a therapy for autistic children and while doing so he shouts out words like “instruction manuals, pedagogy, and psychology”: every day he thinks about new words that make him happy when he speaks them out loud.

“Wrong Planet” accompanies Hendrik, Rainer, and Nicole in their everyday lives, watches them at home, at work, at school, or at the university while they, being insecure but also having extraordinary energy and courage, are trying to cope with normal people. The film shows the world from their fascinating point of view until one asks oneself the question whose planet is the wrong one after all .