Documentary Monday~~Sound and Fury

TitleSound and Fury

Year–2000

Awards–Nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature, 2001

Nominated for Best Documentary at the Independent Spirit Awards, 2001

Won the Freedom of Expression Award from the National Board of Review, 2000

Summary–Follows the story of a two related families who are considering cochlear implants for their children.  One of them is an infant, Peter, who was born to parents who can hear.  The other is his cousin Heather, who has grown up in an all deaf family.

My Thoughts–This was a really good film, but parts of it were hard to watch.  It is a very emotional story where people feel very passionate about their views, so there is a lot of arguing.  I am not big on confrontation or fighting, so some of the family discussions were hard for me to watch.

The main focus of the film is a 4 1/2 year-old girl named Heather whose parents and siblings are all deaf.  She is interested in getting a cochlear implant which would allow her to hear so it will be easier for her to interact with other children who are not deaf.  Her parents have very mixed feelings about the idea because they are worried that she will stop identifying with the deaf community and lose herself in the hearing world.

Heather’s infant cousin Peter (their fathers are brothers) is born deaf and his parents really want to get him an implant as soon as possible.  Peter’s maternal grandparents are both deaf and think that this is not the right choice for their grandchild.

One of the good things about seeing all the arguing amongst family members is it really helps to illustrate what a huge impact these implants have on the deaf community.  Many of the older deaf people in the film seemed to be opposed to them, while the majority of the hearing people seemed to think it was the only way to go.

I admit that I fell into that category at first.  I thought, well, of course I would want my child to be able to hear.  But after listening to Heather’s parents discuss their fears and seeing how great it was for Heather when she went to visit the deaf school, I began to rethink my position.

This is a good film to introduce you to the topic because there are good arguments on both sides of the issue.  I’m so glad I watched it because I was only vaguely aware that this surgery even existed.  I also enjoyed watching everyone speaking in sign language.  I almost never get to watch people signing, and I am always so impressed with how beautiful the language is.

Final Verdict–This is a good, emotional film that will make you really think.  It’s impossible to watch it and not think about what you might do in the same situation.

Jen

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2 Responses to “Documentary Monday~~Sound and Fury”


  1. 1 Abby June 20, 2011 at 5:48 pm

    I love this documentary and I have watched it several times since I studied ASL and minored in Speech & Hearing Sciences in college. I have pretty strong feelings against the cochlear implant for a number of reasons, but I also believe in every parent’s right to choose for his or her child. While at this moment I don’t think it’s something I’d choose for my child, I suppose I can’t really say that until that situation actually happens to me.

  2. 2 ngtjennifer June 22, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    I came out of it thinking that I would be against cochlear implants if it were my child, but it is a really tough issue.

    Watching this made me really want to learn sign language. I will have to see if there are any classes around here for people who are interested…


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