In the Garden of Sounds (2010) — Switzerland
Wolfgang Fasser was born with a genetic disorder called retinitis pigmentosa, and so from childhood he knew that he would eventually lose his sight. He was completely blind by age twenty-two. This documentary film shows how he went on to become a therapist to profoundly disabled children using music. In 1999 he opened a studio that was specially equipped with all sorts of sound improvisations: a piano, accordion, oboe, gongs, cymbals, bongo drums, and so on. The film shows him working with Jenny, Ermanno, Andrea, and Lucia, and how Fasser uses music therapy to help "build a bridge to reality" with them. Yes, the possibilities are limited, and there are disappointments. But Fasser has created a safe place for his kids, he's obviously wise and compassionate, and so they respond to the mystery of sound: their breathing quiets, they grow calmer, and they participate in making music. "Wolfgang gives me a lot of courage," says Jenny, who has cerebral palsy, "even though he can't see anything. He also encourages me not to give up when I'm afraid." In Swiss German with English sub-titles.