Rented this DVD the other day. Had to do a post on it to let you all know that you really, really must watch this.
Unlikely Travellers is a documentary about a group of six men and women with mental health issues and/ or intellectual disabilities who take part in a new initiative that aims to help develop independence – by taking them on a trip to Egypt.
The documentary gives a great insight into the lives and thoughts of the featured men and women – as well as their families.
The film hits close to home – my baby brother (ok, so not so much a baby any more… he’s turning 21 in March) is on the autistic spectrum and has some intellectual disabilities. My mother, especially, still treats him like a young child and it worries me. It worries me a lot. Once my parents are gone, it’ll be just the two of us – and he’s on the other side of the world. I want him to learn to be independent – not only to give him the freedom that any adult deserves, but so that both of our lives can continue when my parents are gone (which is hopefully a very, very long time from now).
Seeing men so similar to my brother being placed so far outside their comfort zone, yet being supported so well that they can fight their way through it – it was utterly inspiring.
My kid brother is a truly amazing person. And I won’t do as a lot of people seem to do and apply that generalisation to the entire population of those with disabilities (they’re human. Some of them are assholes, just like those of us without disabilities.) – but I do have a lot of admiration for anyone who has to struggle against both their own bodies as well as society in order to get by each day. Documentaries like this not only remind me of how inspirational my brother can be, but give me hope that he’ll gain the independence he deserves as he gets older.
Unlikely Travellers is a very realistic and true to life portrayal of the men and women on the trip to Egypt, how they deal with challenges, and how they interact with their families, peers, co-workers, etc.
Well worth a watch.