Deaf culture commanded the spotlight in media this year. From the release of Netflix’s controversial series ‘Deaf U’, to the rising fame of Deaf Tik-Tok stars like Chrissy Marshall (@chrissycanthearyou) and Nakia Smith (@itscharmay), hearing audiences were given access to Deaf culture and experiences in an unprecedented way. On December 4th, Amazon Prime released ‘Sound of Metal’- a full length film that follows the story of Reuben, a professional drummer who loses his hearing and must suddenly navigate life as a deaf individual.
Standing out from other depictions of Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals in cinema, Sound of Metal refuses to paint living in Deaf culture as a problem to which hearing ability is the solution. Rather, the film gives stage to a variety of Deaf experiences that hearing audiences may not be as familiar with, including the many ways Deaf and HOH individuals use to communicate.
Though the array of Deaf experience is much wider and more nuanced than a 2 hour film can cover, we agree that Sound of Metal is a fantastic place to start for hearing audiences to gain understanding of the Deaf and HOH diaspora.