Have you had a chance to watch “Making Noise in Silence“?[update: this film is no longer available online]
It’s a short, fascinating look at two Korean-American teens as they learn what it means to be both deaf and Korean. The teens share their experiences being deaf, and find community among other deaf students at Fremont, California’s California School for the Deaf. “Making Noise in Silence” is directed by Mina T. Son, and won the 2012 Loni Ding Award in Social Issues Documentary, and is now viewable exclusively on the CAAM website!
Here’s a short excerpt from a SF360 interview with Mina T. Son on the making of her film.
SF360: How did this project come into being? I know you had a previous short about a blind architect, so are portrayals of disability an ongoing documentary interest for you?
Mina T Son: It was a total coincidence that I ended up making two films back to back on issues around disability. For my previous short, An Architect’s Vision, I read an L.A. Times article about Chris Downey, an architect who at the height of his career lost his sight. I couldn’t get the story out of my head. I was so inspired by Chris’ passion and drive to continue doing something he loved regardless of what obstacles came in his way, I wanted to make a film about him.
My original idea for Making Noise in Silence was to find a teenager who was both deaf and Afghan American. After reading The Kite Runner, I wanted to learn more about Afghan culture and I thought an interesting starting point would be to research more about Fremont, where part of the novel takes place. Fremont also happened to be very close to where I was living at the time. It was then that I learned the area had a prominent deaf community because of the California School for the Deaf (CSD). I had also just watched a clip from Sound and Fury (Josh Aronson, 2000), a film that discussed deaf culture in a way I had never been exposed to. Here were two seemingly very different cultures that had sizable communities in a particular area and I wanted to find someone who was part of both groups.