What is it like to be on the outside? To experience life in a different way? What is it like to see other people living full lives and know that you will never have that yourself? And what happens when you decide that you will not accept your fate but make your own? This is the story of Luke.
Since I was a child, I was surrounded by people with special needs, their parents and the professionals that serve them because my mother runs an educational center for kids and adults with developmental disabilities in Peru, the Centro Ann Sullivan del Perú. I started my film career by making training videos about supported employment programs and have always been particularly fascinated with autism and especially those individuals who stand close to the line between the “normal” world and their own.
It’s a tough place to be in, where society has little expectations of you, where you are categorized based on your limitations and are basically regarded as a person of lesser value. But just as I have seen many examples of discrimination and frustration, I have also seen examples of the exact opposite, of what happens when you stop looking at someone’s limitations, when you forget about what a certain person should realistically achieve and just treat them like anybody else. That tough place suddenly becomes a place that, for anybody that cares to look, is filled with surprising achievements, with laughter.
Luke will make you look. And not because he is autistic and so different than you or anybody you’ve ever met, but because he is so similar in the most basic way: Luke wants a job, a girlfriend and to live on his own. What makes Luke so special is that he wants to live, desperately. And it’s a desperation that is contagious. Someone that doesn’t know him could look at Luke and see him as a disabled person that merits pity. But give him a minute of your time and you’ll see that Luke is actually a hero on a quest.
– Alonso Mayo, Writer/Director