The Oberlin Review

“Sign: A Silent Film” Speaks to Experiences of Deaf Community

Kate Fishman, Staff Writer

April 13, 2018

Filed under ARTS, Theater & Film

Editor’s note: This article contains mentions of intimate partner violence. A love story without spoken dialogue, Adam Wachter’s Sign: A Silent Film follows two men named Aaron and Ben as they navigate their relationship through fights and celebrations. The film has a particular focus on their communication, since Aaron is deaf and Ben is hearing. The film is punctuated by several jarring scenes — for example, Ben sitting in a chair at a party with Aaron’s friends before he knows how to sign, watching them communicate while holding a bowl of popcorn in his lap; another, a fight during which Ben violently grabs Aaron’s hands in the middle of speech, effectively silencing him. Ultimately, the film itself se...

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