"Children of a Lesser God"
I took classes in American Sign Language (ASL) starting in 1986...I took two terms of ASL and a Deaf Culture class. I couldn't reconcile the idea of never being a part of the community I was working so hard to support and so I decided to stop taking classes over the summer of 1986. On Dec. 31, 1986, Roby and I went to see "Children of a Lesser God".
While I watched Marlee Matlin sign, I felt a yearning to sign and to be around people who did...I was still such a baby signer then and I couldn't even understand everything that was signed in the movie...but still, I yearned for that part of me that I hadn't even realized I missed until seeing the movie.
At the time, I didn't understand the controversial aspects of the film in the Deaf community, so that is how I still think of this film. I thought the cinemetography was gorgeous, I loved the setting - so beautiful and so lonely in some ways. The film captured the close atmosphere of the Deaf school and the alienation hearing people sometimes feel (turnabout is fair play).
The most important thing about this film for me is that I decided to return to my studies in ASL the following term. I signed up for ASL 1 again, as I felt I had forgotten too much. By fall of 1987, I was accepted and enrolled into the Portland Community College Interpeter Training Program (nee Sign Language Interpreting Program)...the rest is kind of history...I'm still an interpreter lo these years later...it will be 19 years this fall... Who'd have thunk?
P.S. The soundtrack to this film is BEAUTIFUL...but I wish they had put the "Boomerang" song in a different place...you have this lovely musical score and then suddenly, "BA-BA-BA BOOMERANG BABY!!!!" Yikes.