Sound And Fury

At first this thought-provoking documentary is about a seemingly miraculous new technology — cochlear implants — that enables many deaf people to hear a wide range of sounds. By the time it ends, it's become a moving look at the choices parents make on their children's behalf, and the reasons behind those choices. The film starts with five-year-old...read more

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Reviewed by Ken Fox
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At first this thought-provoking documentary is about a seemingly miraculous new technology — cochlear implants — that enables many deaf people to hear a wide range of sounds. By the time it ends, it's become a moving look at the choices parents make on

their children's behalf, and the reasons behind those choices. The film starts with five-year-old Heather, one of three deaf children born to a deaf Long Island, NY, couple, Peter and Nita Artinian. Prompted by Peter's hearing mother, Heather announces to her parents that she'd like a cochlear

implant, a small electrode that's surgically implanted in the ear, then activated by an external magnetic device. With the implant, Heather would become part of the hearing world and could communicate with her friends. Her parents are devastated: They consider their family part of the deaf world,

a rich culture endangered by the implants; if Heather has the surgery, she'll no long be part of it. Director Josh Aronson contrasts Pete and Nita's story with that of Pete's brother, Chris, and his wife, Mari, both of whom can hear. When one of their twin sons is born deaf, Chris and Mari opt for

implant surgery over the emotional objections of Mari's parents, who are also deaf. Both families find themselves in a fascinating predicaments — accusations of selfishness, shame and even child abuse fly on both sides — and Aronson manages to include just about every possible point of

view on the subject, from audiologists who specialize in "correcting" hearing loss, to deaf culture advocates bent on preserving it. And there are no easy answers. One family moves closer to the hearing world, the other retreats even further from it; both claim to be acting in their children's

best interests.

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  • Released: 2000
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: At first this thought-provoking documentary is about a seemingly miraculous new technology — cochlear implants — that enables many deaf people to hear a wide range of sounds. By the time it ends, it's become a moving look at the choices parents m… (more)

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