THE WORLD AT ARM’S LENGTH
A story beyond vision of the Camino de Santiago
While most of the pilgrims who take on Camino de Santiago are able-bodied and devoid of any noticeable disabilities, Sven lacks both sight and hearing. He has been dreaming about the journey for a lifetime, and it gets to a point where he simply has to go for it. Unable to do it alone, he turns to those around him for support, and the unerring nature of human kindness shows itself when he is afforded the company of handy assistants.
A gripping tale that takes you into the dark world of the deaf blind and captures the human desire for freedom and self-determination as well as personal fulfillment. Don’t miss this profound and inspiring Indie documentary on our big screen for a limited time.
Sign Language, German, French and Spanish with English subtitles
All Ages (Exemption)
Dates & Times
Friday 28 June 2019 at 7pm
Saturday 29 June 2019 at 3pm
Sven has a dream. He has always wanted to walk the Camino de Santiago – the Way of St. James!
However, this seems almost impossible, because Sven has Usher Syndrome, a disease in which one slowly loses his hearing and vision. He is hard of hearing and has been completely blind since 2010. He communicates verbally with a special hearing aid, but this does not distinguish sounds – they flow unfiltered to him and so it is only helpful if Sven’s environment is absolutely silent.
Sven mainly communicates via tactile gestures with his hands. With this approach, you basically use your hands to form words and letters. He is always dependent on the help of his specially trained assistants. Sven has to trust his assistant completely, because although he is their “boss”, he cannot assess his own situation. They are his eyes and his ears. They guide him, describe his surroundings and translate every communication with the outside world for him.
When one assistant, Almuth learns about Svens dream to tour the Way of St. James, she offers to accompany him on the 800-kilometer pilgrimage. Sven can hardly believe it. He immediately starts preparing for the journey of his life. For two years, he and Almuth set the stage for the trip. Seven assistants are chosen to take care of him in turns. He has already worked with some of the women, but hardly knows the rest of his crew.
April comes, and the team finally embarks on the journey. However, after a few days in strange surroundings, Sven begins to behave aggressively, and the general mood around the tour darkens. Filmmaker Susanne Bohlmann accompanies the group for six weeks through Spain and documents the frustrating fights between Sven and his minders. They want to help, but Sven attacks and pushes them back. His disability conspires with dark memories from the past, and this only compounds the gravity of the situation.
Sven’s physical condition is deteriorating. His knees can no longer withstand the unfamiliar terrain. He has to go to the hospital and is unable to walk for several days. He feels more and more imprisoned and isolated. The Way of St. James soon fades into an unfulfilled dream, and every glimmer of hope starts to fade.
Eventually, Svens assistants give up and decide to go home in defeat.
This movie is a gripping tale that takes us into the dark world of the deaf blind. It captures the human desire for freedom and self-determination as well as a deep craving for personal fulfillment.