Loud Murmurs 小声喧哗

S4 E10 ‘Sound of Metal’ — A Window Into Deaf Culture (Part One)

May 30, 2021 Loud Murmurs 小声喧哗 Season 4 Episode 10
Loud Murmurs 小声喧哗
S4 E10 ‘Sound of Metal’ — A Window Into Deaf Culture (Part One)
Show Notes

This week, we talk about the movie ‘Sound of Metal,’ a story about a drummer (played by Riz Ahmed) whose sudden loss of hearing puts him on an unlikely journey of growth and self-discovery. We also discuss how little we know about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community, about sign language and Deaf culture. 

The conversation is so good and so long that we split it into two parts. See full transcript in Chinese for part 1 here.
【Timecodes】

  • 3:15 Brief introduction to Sound of Metal
  • 8:56 Our first impressions of the film
  • 18:15 On-screen moments that moved us: seeing a hearing guide dog, ASL, and deaf music education 
  • 20:55 The exquisite sound design of the movie 
  • 25:48 What’s currently missing from mainstream awareness of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Community, what are the 4 deaf identities, ASL (American Sign Language) as a language, what is Deaf culture 
  • 36:48 Why we need to cast more deaf actors in deaf roles
  • 44:14 ASL as a language and its role in forming a community 

【Guest introduction】

Xinke Liu (she/her) is the co-founder of a startup that provides medical-grade hearing aids for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She wore hearing aids in her teenage years and underwent the procedure to have cochlear implants after college. She is currently based in China. 

Yiru Chen (she/her) graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a major in Film and TV production and minors in Psychology and American Sign Language. She is currently a student of the MA program in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.  She is an active member of both Shanghai and New York signing communities and her goal is to promote sign language education and arts in both countries. Her film “Handscape” has been screened at multiple film festivals in and out of China.  

【Audio editor】

Joshua Ogden-Davis 

【Too long didn’t listen】

This is not your typical story of a person overcoming hardship to find himself. It’s not even that inspirational. What it does achieve is portraying one aspect of the vastly diverse and complicated Deaf community to the mainstream hearing community. It’s up to us to learn and educate ourselves about the rest. 

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