Martin Trabalík

Czech Republic

Martin Trabalík

director, producer

What about little Peter?

Peter is a teenage boy diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. He is no lightweight; at sixteen, he already weighs well over 100 kilos. When he is happy, you laugh with him. When he becomes angry, the laughter quickly subsides. He can get aggressive tantrums and physically abuse the people closest to him. Therefore, his family lived through many hardships but also moments of joy. At the beginning of last year, he lost his mother.
While most fathers to children with autism spectrum disorder leave their families, Mr Jochec stays and takes care of the children alone. Now he faces the arduous task of not only tending to the needs of his autistic son but also trying not to neglect his teenage daughter. When his wife was stillalive, she stayed at home with the kids, and he went to work. As a widower, he had to quit his job and become a stay-at-home dad.For the first time in his life, he has to run the household. “I had no idea how exhausting it was. It’s much harder than going to work,” he admits.
Will he be able to cope with the task of raising two kids? His son Peter needs constant care and attention. Can a person devote their entire life to another? How much are we willing to sacrifice for the most vulnerable, be it individuals or society as a whole? Where are the limits of caretaking?
Is love enough?
The film’s protagonist is Mr Jochec, who has to juggle raising his children, securing the family financially and navigating the complexities of social services. It tells a story of the Jochec family and partially the life at the Nautis Autism Centre, where Peter goes to stay regularly each month. It avoids giving direct answers but nevertheless highlights the difficulty of caring for disabled individuals.
Film wants to explore the trajectory of the sense of belonging and asks the question whether it is possible to find joy even in the most difficult life situations. It is a poetic probe into life on the edge of social, physical and emotional possibility.
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