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My Classic Life As An Artist

21 min / documentary / 2004 / USA

filmmaker: Doug Biklen

Filled with humorous and poignant assessments of his life, this documentary explores the complexities of expression as autistic artist Larry Bissonnette moves between speech, typing and painting.

Looking back on his years of living in a closed institution for people labeled mentally retarded, Vermont-based autistic artist Larry Bissonnette assesses this form of “apartheid” as “better for growing vegetables rather than people.” This documentary is filled with Bissonnette’s humorous yet poignant assessments of his life – growing up, his family, and creating art. Moving back and forth between speech, typing, and painting, Bissonnette’s wit and insight punctuate a day in the life of this Outsider artist, and artfully illustrate the complexities of expression. 

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