I watched Through Deaf Eyes and For a Deaf Son, which followed. For Deaf Eyes opened with comedian CJ Jones who told the story of dealing with a angry driver.
Deaf rock band, Beethoven’s Nightmare (great name!) appeared. I like what they do — they let people go up on stage and tell their stories while they rock. Here is the band’s myspace page and mine.
Marlee Matlin, of course, told a few stories like the year after she won her Academy Award for Children — where she presented the best actor award. She started her presentation with ASL and then spoke the actors’ names. The Deaf community was up in arms over that.
She also remembered when she was preparing for an interview with a major news program. The anchor was trying to get her attention. Just seconds before she went on air, the anchor told Matlin that she had a deaf dog. Immediately after that, the on camera light came on and she’s thinking how was she supposed to related to her dog?
The documentary’s official page contains videos by independent deaf filmmakers. Those were an experience to watch. Each brought on different thoughts, feelings and emotions. I especially enjoyed Kimby Caplan‘s video, which recalled all the infamous words we repeat during an audiogram. Baseball. Cowboy. Airplane. Hot dog.
The program provided a good overview of the 1988 protest against a hearing president, which eventually led to the Elisabeth Zinser’s resignation. I wondered what Zinser did after that. Looks like she served as chancellor at the University of Kentucky-Lexington, president of the University of Idaho and president at Southern Oregon University in 2001 and retired in 2006.
Unfortunately, I believe mostly people who are deaf, hard of hearing, have family and friends who are or work with them watched the program. The program offers important insight into deaf lives and I’d love for elementary and middle schools to show this to their students. This is also the reason I started this blog — to provide insight into what it’s like to be deaf without the biases that come from when people hear my “deaf accent.” My experiences are not the same as many others — we all have our own experiences.