|Sound and Fury
Without question, SOUND AND FURY has to rank as one of the
best films -- nonfiction or otherwise -- of 2000. A frank and well-balanced
examination of the debate over cochlear implants that is raging within the
hearing-impaired community, this documentary focuses on the decisions
made by hearing members of one Long Island family and the impact those
choices have on their hearing-impaired relatives. To his credit, director Josh
Aronson manages to avoid imposing his own point of view, giving equal
time to each side, thus allowing the audience to make up its own mind.
The subjects of SOUND AND FURY are the Artinian family. Peter
and his wife and three children are hearing-impaired. When their daughter
Heather asks them to allow her to undergo the operation for a cochlear
implant, he is shocked. Peter believes very strongly in preserving "deaf
culture", including American Sign Language. His brother Chris, who can
hear, and his wife are also contemplating the operation for their baby
who was born deaf, thus directly challenging Peter's ideals and leading
to a series of sometime brutally painful confrontations.
As with any emotionally charged subject, people say things that
are brutal and unforgivable. Family members square off as the issue gets
debated. SOUND AND FURY doesn't shrink from presenting the ugliness
of truth masquerading as familial love where parents say hurtful things
to their children or siblings confrontations occur that are freighted with
long buried, perhaps even forgotten hurts.
Aronson takes a giant step as a filmmaker and assumes that his
audience is intelligent enough to make up its own mind. Several pertinent
issues are raised, some of which can have resonance to other oppressed
peoples, things like the overwhelming influence of political correctness
and whether those with a perceived handicap should be allowed to preserve
their subculture. Unlike in a Hollywood fiction, there are no pat answers
in real life as SOUND AND FURY proves.
MPAA Rating: NONE
Running time: 80 mins.
|© 2005 by C. E. Murphy. All Rights Reserved.