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40 years institutionalised without a mental illness – the story of Stuart X

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Local Eastern Suburbs film maker, Thibault Upton, released his multi award winning documentary, Stuart X, on International Day of People of People with a Disability to raise awareness about the little known condition, Fragile X.

Thibault Upton

Thibault Upton

Told through the eyes of Stuart’s sister, Robyn, and narrated by Cate Blanchett, the 5 minute documentary gives us a brief insight into the tragic yet heartwarming life of Stuart Iredale. Stuart was born in 1950’s Australia at a time when very little was understood about disability and mental illness and faced 40 years of neglect and abuse in and out of psychiatric institutions – even though he wasn’t mentally ill, before finally receiving a correct diagnosis of Fragile X at age 60.

stuart dancing with robyn

Stuart and Robyn

Fragile X is a genetic disability impacting an estimated 90,000 Australians and is the leading cause of inherited disability. It’s caused by alterations in the FMRI gene, which is located on the X chromosome and is associated with a wide range of intellectual, physical and behavioural symptoms. It’s an incurable condition that requires life long support, but with the right care, people with the condition can live happy and fulfilling lives.

Catch up on our chat with Thibault above. You can find out more on Fragile X here.

Watch Stuart X below.

Doc LA: WINNER Best Director Documentary Short.

AFIN International FF: WINNER.

Sydney Independent FF: WINNER.

Australian Independent FF: FINALIST Documentary Short.

Melbourne Documentary Film Festival: FINALIST Documentary Short.

Port Shorts, Lift off Film Festival.

DIRECTED : Thibault Upton

NARRATED : Cate Blanchett

PRODUCED : Judith Lenart

DOP : Nick Najdov & Thibault Upton

WRITTEN : Thibault Upton & Mitch Green

GRADE : Matt Fezz

SOUND : Faisal Matin

GRAPHICS : Paul Sharp & Felix Ettleson

1st ASSISTANT : Ryan Callaghan

HAIR & MAKEUP : Brooke Jones

PROPS : Propco

CAST : Stuart Iredale as himself, Robyn Iredale as herself, Young Stuart Lucas Head, Child Stuart Atlas Adams.

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