Sound and Fury

Director: Josh Aronson

Institute History

  • 2000 Sundance Film Festival


Consider this: your newborn child is deaf, but a new miraculous operation can restore the baby’s hearing. So given the limited risk, you of course decide to undertake the procedure. Right? And therein lies the intriguing premise of this fascinating portrait of deaf families and culture. The battle over cochlear implants, a medical technology welcomed by some as a cure for deafness and reviled by others as a cruel procedure which will result in the end of American Sign Language and deaf culture, threatens to divide the deaf community and define the future of those who are hearing impaired.

Two branches of the Artinian family, each headed by a brother, are at the center of a passionate and elucidating debate. On one side, Chris and Mari are the hearing parents of a deaf newborn and decide to implant their baby, much to the dismay of their deaf in-laws. On the other hand, Chris’s brother Peter, whose entire family is deaf, is dealing with his young daughter’s request for an implant, a request decidedly at odds with his role as a leader of the anti-implant movement.

Veteran director Josh Aronson and his producing partner Roger Weisberg skillfully capture the anguish of parents, grandparents, children, and many others as they negotiate the often-emotional travails that color these issues and choices. With a highly appropriate vérité style, this exploration offers an informative and dramatic insight into the politics, culture, and lives of a universe which few in the hearing world understand.

— Geoffry Gilmore

Screening Details


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