Enea is a 29 year old Italian man with autism, who works in a textile factory. He has never been in a sexual relationship and is often trying to pick up girls, though they more often than not ignore his advances. Enea’s friends Alex and Carlo (the film’s director) decide to help Enea have his first sexual experience. The three set off on a road trip, first to a brothel in Austria and then to a centre in Germany, which explains sexuality to disabled people. Along the way, it is revealed that Enea has greater desires than just sex, but has difficulty articulating these feelings.
Director Carlo Zoratti takes an observational approach in documenting the journey his friend Enea goes on. Even though autistic people may seem like eternal children on the outside, it is quite obvious that they still have the same feelings and desires as anyone else; they just have more difficulty expressing them. Enea also has trouble understanding the difference between sex and relationships, with him always approaching the most beautiful women he sees and keeping a magazine photo of a fantasy woman named “Caterina” in his pocket.
As Enea goes on this journey with his friends, he starts to understand what he really wants in a relationship. Over the course of the film, Enea begins to learn about the true nature of relationships and what he really desires in a possible girlfriend. The film also tackles some of the prejudices against people with developmental disabilities and how they deserve to love, just like everyone else. All together, The Special Need turns out to be a quite touching coming-of-age story.
8 | LIKED IT
- Sun, April 27, 6:30 PM – Scotiabank Theatre 4
- Mon, April 28, 1:00 PM – ROM Theatre
- Sun, May 4, 9:00 PM – Isabel Bader Theatre