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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.
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
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
GRAND PRIZE for BEST INTERNATIONAL FEATURE and BEST EDITING
Special Merit Prize
Special Mention Award
Open City Docs London
Grand Jury Award
Grand Prix for Best Feature Length Documentary & Audience Award for Best Documentary