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If you could make your deaf child hear, would you? Academy Award-nominated Sound and Fury follows the intimate, heart-rending tale of the Artinians, an extended family with deaf and hearing members across three generations. Together they confront a technological device that can help the deaf to hear but may also threaten deaf culture - and their bonds with each other. For Peter Artinian and his wife, both of whom are deaf, a surgical ear implant for their five-year-old daughter Heather means a choice between two worlds - an unfamiliar hearing world and the deaf world, a robust culture in its own right united by a uniquely visual and artistic language. Heather Artinian - precocious, vivacious, and avidly curious about implant surgery - is caught between her deaf parents and her hearing grandparents, as they argue passionately about her future. The debate is sometimes silent, but by no means quiet. When all is done, Sound and Fury speaks volumes about the choices we make and the battles... Written by
When Peter asks Nancy (the girl with the cochlear implant from the deaf family) if she socializes more with deaf or hearing, the voice-over says, "Mostly deaf people." However, she is actually signing, "Grandma and grandpa." See more »
I have been involved with the Deaf world for about 20 years and when I saw this film I was deeply moved, but not the way most of the viewers who commented were. I see the Deaf world as a minority and this film, though showing that Deaf Culture is precious to Deaf people, seemed to leave that part out. If we had a pill that would turn African Americans or other racial groups white, would we want them to take it so their lives would be made easier? I don't think so. It is the same with Deaf people. They do not see themselves as handicapped. They can do everything that hearing people can do, except hear. It is we, the hearing community, not the Deaf themselves, that limit them. With the CI, not one mentioned that that boy would be limited in the choices he would be able to make in school, that he would not be able to participate in sports for the most part. That choice was taken away from him. I have seen this before and I have seen how hurt the deaf boy was. So hurt in fact that he stopped using the CI and entered the Deaf world while he was still in high school. But it was too late for him to experience basketball, football, swimming, baseball. He could only sit on the sidelines and watch as his friends, both deaf and hearing, played. As with the deaf girl with the CI in the deaf family, her speech was not that clear, but the deaf father said that her grandmother said it was perfect. How ironic. Do you think the hearing children she played with thought so?
It also did not talk about the dangers of the CI surgery. It is brain surgery and it is seldom that the dangers of infections to the brain and the resulting consequences are spoken of. It didn't talk of the paralysis that sometimes occurs or the fact that it might not work. The surgeon told the parents that their son would hear. He didn't tell them any negatives. Personally, I would not want to have surgery until I could understand all of the ramifications and risks involved.
I felt that this film leaned heavily on the promotion of CI surgery as a cure-all for deafness. It left many issues untouched. The Deaf parents were called abusive by several of the people in the film. I don't see it as abuse. They were willing to allow their child to make the decision at a later date. The girl was learning language, it just wasn't spoken. The CI by it's very nature turns a deaf child away from the culture by emphasizing speech and hearing and de-emphasizing sign language. The hearing mother of the deaf son was making sure that it would be difficult for her son to communicate with her Deaf parents. She is content to take from the Deaf world as an interpreter, but she is also willing to insult it when her own child is born deaf. The film was interesting, but it did not come close to looking at many of the important issues of the Deaf World and CI.
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