Two thumbs up??? Two hands up!!!
The movie "Beyond Silence" which takes place in Germany, starts off with Lara as a young girl, the hearing daughter of deaf parents. The movie entails the relationship she has with her parents and how she must bridge the gap between her parent's deaf world and the hearing world in which she lives in. Not only does the movie show the struggles Lara faces as a young girl and young woman with her father, but it also shows the struggles that he has experienced himself with his own hearing family and sister Clarissa.
It is Clarissa who opens Lara's world to music by introducing her to the clarinet. As Lara grows and matures, so does her love for the clarinet and music. Now as a young adult, she must make a decision, to leave home and go away to music school or stay and care for her father who is now alone with Lara's young sister, the mother having passed away.
The movie does a brilliant job exhibiting real life issues by showing real struggles that some hearing children face having deaf parents. Such as, being teased at school; having to leave school early to interpret for her parents at meetings (in which Lara sometimes mis-interprets the message to her advantage); her education suffering because she has other responsibilities; and her feelings of anger because her father cannot share her love for music. There is a strong love in this family but there are many obstacles they must overcome as a family.
Not only does the film do a wonderful job at teaching the audience about the relationships of hearing and deaf families, children of deaf adults (codas) but it is just an over all warm and truly enjoyable movie. There is a wonderful and touching scene at the end of the movie that leaves a smile on your face, a perfect closure to a marvelous and touching movie.
I think anyone could find an appreciation for this film, I HIGHLY recommend it to all!! I mean really - I laughed, I cried and I felt warm and fuzzy inside. It is a must see!!! If you have seen "Children of a Lesser God" and liked it, you will love "Beyond Silence", and yes, there is plenty of sign language. Of course, it is German but you will recognize many of our own ASL signs.
Foreign Film and Academy Award nominee "Beyond Silence" opened to the public on June 26th 1998 and is now available on video cassette.