THE WORLD AT ARMS LENGTH (E)

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.

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.

This movie might not be the encapsulation of the hero stories seen in Hollywood blockbusters, but it is a gripping tale that takes us into the dark world of the deafblind. It captures the human desire for freedom and self-determination as well as a deep craving for personal fulfillment.

Join Claude Tranchant – Author of Boot to Bliss as our Q&A guest after the screening on Sunday 

On my 64th birthday, I started a journey from Vezelay in the Burgundy region, France and I put my feet for the first time on the medieval path of saint James – ‘The Way’.

I crossed France, I went over the pyrenees, through northern part of Spain along the Camino Frances as far as Santiago de Compostela. From there, I kept on walking and I finished at Muxia in the north-west of Galicia (Spain). I covered 2500 kilometres, alone, over 100 days and I was known along ‘The Way’ as ‘Claude the Australian’.

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