Tuesday, June 15, 2010

"See What I'm Saying" Review

Last Saturday afternoon, I saw Hilari Scarl's "See What I'm Saying" documentary at MSSD's Malz Theatre. Many short films by other deaf have been done, but a documentary? It was pretty nicely done. So's the introductory music video by Powder. We see Robert DeMayo going from having an apartment to homeless to having a home, shared with the homeowner. It's a common theme we see throughout the movie, that it's much more difficult for a deaf actor to get jobs in the hearing world. We see CJ Jones, Robert, and TL Forsberg try to "invite" the hearing people into their world, but very few take up the invitation. It was especially disappointing for CJ to play at a hearing black-oriented convention in the theatre. Less than 20 people showed up total for 3-4 shows.

The most heartbreaking scene was when Robert's mother was in the hospital for the final stages of cancer which spread to her brain. Despite all the attempts with and without interpreter to communicate why he has an interpreter and his attempts to communicate without, he leaves the hospital. His mom passes away without even learning sign a few weeks later, despite him giving her a book on signs some time earlier.

The best parts were watching them perform including audience reactions and interviews. The Beethoven's Nightmare guitarist with the light gray top hat was kinda like a cross between AC/DC's Angus Young (without the extreme antics) and former Guns N Roses guitarist Slash (without the long hair), including other male rockers. TL had her own style that used elements from various female rockers. You have to give her credit for going so far as to make her signing more understandable with GLAD's help.

The post-show Q&A period was interesting, though a little hard to understand in places. It was an interesting treat to see Robert come on stage with Hilari. Outside the theatre, they sold tshirts, and there was mention of the DVD coming out.

Watch this documentary if you can. It's not just ASL-focused, but also has sound and subtitles for those who don't know sign.

Update: They've got a Facebook page!

See What I'm Saying on Facebook

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