Sunday, February 26, 2012

Let the Deaf’s Dreams Blossom with Films

Loyal readers of Nesting in Skyscrapers (all five of you!) will recall that last year I attended the first Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival. I spent most of this weekend at the second festival, surrounded by Deaf people from various countries. 

This year many of the movies were in British Sign Language which is similar to Auslan, so I thoroughly enjoyed myself. You can read about some of the presentations of which the theme was "Let the Deaf’s Dreams Blossom with Films" below. My favourites of all the selections were "Five Needles" (Donna, you can watch the full movie here) and "I'm Deaf and I Didn't Know".

Love Before Sunrise
In Mandarin and Chinese Sign Language
Director: Xiong Hao
As the Tribute Film of the 20th International Day of Disabled Persons in China, Love Before Sunrise features the young Chinese Deaf actor Sung Xiubo in a love tragedy.

Mi Último Adiós
Fillipino Sign Language
Director: Mirana Medina
Mi Último Adiós (in English “My Last Farewell”) is the signing version of the farewell poem written by Filipino national hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal before his sacrifice to the brutal colonial rule.

Music and the Sea
In Cantonese and Hong Kong Sign Language
Director: Li Miao
Feeling the vibration of the sound from loudspeakers, a Deaf girl imagines dancing with her cyber-dating boyfriend in Music of the Sea.

The $10,000 that Did Not Exist
In Cantonese and Hong Kong Sign Language
Director: Bernard Lee
Two devils want to destroy the trust between a hard-of-hearing couple in The $10,000 that Did Not Exist.

Whispering Hands
Malaysian Sign Language
Director: Nethaneal S. Enson
In Whispering Hands, a Deaf waitress named Glory wants to help a spirit called Carrie.

Pelita Hati
Malaysian Sign Language
Director: Farid Mahmud
In Pelita Hati, Deaf guy Kelana visits a village and teaches a Deaf Aboriginal villager Damak sign language.

Jump and Shoot
British Sign Language
Director: Ramas Renteils
Jump and Shoot is a documentary that charts a Lithuanian born Deaf father as he strives to pass on his illustrious basketball legacy to his Deaf daughter.

British Sign Language
Director: Nick Sturley
Set in an insurance company, the supernatural comedy Otherside tells how the spirit Colin reveals the office politics.

Deaf Turkey (Türkentaube)
German Sign Language
Director: Ute Sybille Schmitz and Thomas Theo Hofmann
In Deaf Turkey, an interpreter misleads the talented Deaf chef Hassan and puts him to work at a hotdog fast food stall.

I’m Deaf and I Didn’t Know
French Sign Language
Director: Igor Ochronowicz
I’m Deaf and I Didn’t Know is a critique of Audism and Oralism in education.

Deaf Beat
British Sign Language
Director: Jonathon Reid
In the comedy crime-caper, Deaf Beat follows two detectives as they work to catch a prolific swindler targeting the Deaf community.

Reasons for Learning Sign Language-for Deaf People
Hong Kong Sign Language
Director: Kong Wan Ki
Reasons for Learning Sign Language – for Deaf People suggests some reasons for learning sign language.

Deaf Sisterhood
British Sign Language
Director: Bim Ajadi
Deaf Sisterhood is a documentary tracing the spiritual journey of a Christian Deaf girl from an Atheist family converting to Muslim.

5 Needles
British Sign Language
Director: Julian Peedle-Calloo
In Nazi Germany, some Jewish Deaf women were confined in a sewing factory. They could not lose five needles, otherwise they would die.

Life Is a Gift
British Sign Language
Director: Rinkoo Barpaga
Life Is a Gift is a mockumentary telling the story of a Muslim refugee seeking asylum in UK.

Fairytale of London Town
British Sign Language
Director: Louis Leethling
Fairytale of London Town tells the stories of three women who are abandoned by their mother, husband and boss.

British Sign Language
Director: Melissa Mostyn-Thomas
CODA, standing for Children of Deaf Adults, narrates the love between a Deaf single mother and her Hearing daughter.

The End
British Sign Language
Director: Ted Evans
Starting in the 1980's, drama The End follows four Deaf children over sixty years. After the introduction of a treatment aimed at eradicating deafness, the very survival of Deaf language and culture is at stake. Featuring stunning visual effects and an ensemble cast, The End is a thought-provoking alternative vision of the future.

Lip Read
Malaysian Sign Language
Director: Anne Laura Raymond
Lip Read is a critique of Oralism-a girl fails to lip read her mother’s medical instruction and falls into coma.

Deaf Kid Not Stupid
In Cantonese and Hong Kong Sign Language
Director: Wong Wing-sum
The film tells the implausible story of two children chasing after a thief who stole a book — the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities — from the offices of the Association of the Deaf.


  1. I had no idea there were so many deaf movies - and internationally, too!

  2. Yes! I can see how you must have enjoyed yourself Renee - soaking in the deaf culture whilst watching all those movies!

  3. Looks like I have some movies to enjoy :)
    Thanks Renee, great blogging :)
    I still have to hold my hands during singing at church :)

  4. I meant to ask you at the last coffe night, if there was going to be another deaf film festival. It looks like there were more choices this year? It would have been hard for me to pick just a few, a lot of them sound interesting.

  5. All those films!Such a treat for you,Renee.Why nothing from the USA?
    Can see how well your bag matched the programme booklet,too!

    1. Manou, the ASL films were in sessions on Sunday.