Monday, February 4, 2019

Sundance with Arielle: Moonlight Sonata

It’s my pleasure to introduce Arielle, my wife and an eager new contributor who is covering the Slamdance Film Festival in Park City this year, along with a few Sundance selections.

Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements
Directed by Irene Taylor Brodsky
U.S. Documentary Competition

I ran into a couple of friends earlier this week who I had met on the first morning of Sundance, and they told me I had to see “Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements.” I had no idea what it was about, but I kept it on my radar and I was so excited there was availability for me to see it. But it was not until the end of the film that I realized how truly fortunate I had been, for this movie was eye-opening, engaging, and authentically touching and vulnerable in all the right ways.

Cast and crew discuss the film

Irene Taylor Brodsky turns the camera on her own family in this film, exploring the intersection of the deaf and hearing worlds through the eyes and ears of her son and parents. As Jonas, Brodsky’s eldest son, learns to play Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, he also learns about himself and the ways in which his deafness enhances and inhibits his life, as well as about his grandparents’ experiences growing up deaf and gaining hearing as adults. With the help of producer Tahria Sheather, this documentary is able to reveal the trials and tribulations that this family encounters from the inside while allowing one of its main characters, the director herself, to be present in the moments in real-time. And the audience is forever indebted to each and every member of the family for opening themselves up on camera and letting us in to some of those deep and vulnerable moments.

Arielle with Irene's parents

Whether you know someone who is deaf or not, you do not want to miss this film. It is moving, funny, and informative, opening the doors to a world few of us experience and even fewer understand. I am forever grateful I was able to experience it, and I know you will be too.


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