Achromatopsy – Life without Colour


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Achromatopsy – Life without Colour

Using the example of two persons affected Mr. Hans-Werner Merkelbach (67y) from Duesseldorf, retired business economist, who lives with the very rare visual impairment achromatopsia and Mrs. Henriette Schöpf (22) from Frankfurt, student.

The interviews were recorded at the end of November 2019 in the parish hall of the Evangelical Church of Duesseldorf-Gerresheim, in which they talk about their "life without colour". The stories from childhood, school and study time as well as the practical handling of the visual impairment in everyday life run like a central theme through the film.

From an ophthalmological perspective, Dr. Barbara Schaperdoth-Gerlings, Essen, head of the outpatient clinic for the visually impaired at the University Hospital in Essen provides important information on the diagnosis and symptoms of achromatopsia. She names the difficulties in the assessment, e.g. for the issue of a severely handicapped pass. Finally, the ophthalmologist talks about research for possible therapeutical approaches .

The film "Achromatopsie - Life without Color" addresses with its medical components and the practical reports to different target groups.

  •  Achromatics can compare their own situation in different phases of life with the experiences of of the two protagonists from the film. In dialogue with each other or with other people, they can express agreement or disagreement.
  •  Parents, relatives as well as friends and acquaintances of achromats learn a lot about the visual impairment and how to deal with this disability.
  •  Members of medical and therapeutic professions in which achromatopsia may use the film for information and advice. It is also suitable for training purposes.

Many people who deal with achromatopsia are familiar with the book by neurologist Dr. Oliver Sacks - "The Island of the Colour-blind". Some people have learned for the first time through his experience report that this visual disorder exists and that they themselves have this very rare disease. Our film takes a short trip to the island of Pintelap and highlights the special feature: there, every 6th inhabitant has achromatopsia. In Germany only one of 30,000.

Julius Krenz from Duesseldorf produced the 17-minute film for the Achromatopsia Self-Help Group. He conducted the interviews, stood behind the camera and is responsible for design and editing

The film will be released in mid-July 2020 on the internet platform YOUTUBE under the link: