Scene from the film Matthew's Laws
Scene from the film Matthew's Laws
Scene from the film Matthew's Laws

Matthew's Laws

  • Netherlands
Audio Tracks 

Matthijs, afflicted by autism, tries desperately to bring order to the chaos around him. A fragile young man, but of exceptional intelligence, he establishes a system for analysing and controlling every moment of his life. His house is his world. There he finds peace and harmony. But when he is obliged to make contact with the outside world (for example, when he decides to do jobs that might disturb his neighbours’ peace and quiet), explosive confrontations occur. He is aware of the gap between him and others, and of his bond with the filmmaker, with whom he has been friends since childhood. At the beginning of the film, we see them working out a contract to define their respective roles. From this point, Marc Schmidt films in close-up, alternating scenes of daily life with shots framing details of the house, accompanied by notes from Matthijs’s private diary. He portrays Matthijs with detachment and fellow-feeling, including even the extreme consequences of the way he lives his life.

Luciano Barisone


  • Original Title
    De regels van Matthijs
  • Direction
  • Screenplay
    Marc Schmidt
  • Cinematography
    Marc Schmidt
  • Editing
    Katarina Turler
  • Music
    Jasper Boeke
  • Sound
    Paul Gies
  • Runtime
    70 min (46-90 min.)
  • Year
  • Country
    • Netherlands
  • Format
    • Colour
  • Production
  • Distribution
  • Awards
    • VISION DU RÉEL 2012 / Grand Prix Swiss Post for the best feature is powered by Doc Alliance, a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.

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