Thursday, February 7, 2013

Children of a Lesser God (1986)

 I was told I watched this movie when it first came out. However, it was released October 3rd, 1986, which would make me only 6 months old and there's no way I would remember it. So I watched it again.

I rather enjoyed this film, and I'm not one to ever watch romance films or chick flicks. But there was more than that to this movie. I saw the struggle of two different cultures - the hearing and the hearing-impaired. Sarah is a former student, about my age, who was given every chance to excel but chooses instead to work at her old school as a janitor. Mr. Leeds is a speech teacher who sees something special in her. Yes, we see a strong Good Will Hunting vibe here. But in this case, Mr. Leeds is attracted to her rebellious and mysterious nature and falls in love with her. It helps that she swims naked at night in the school pool. I would do that too in our community pool except there are cameras EVERYWHERE. Prudes.

Sarah never made it to the "real world" because she feels more comfortable in school. She's smart enough to go to college, but refuses to speak. This provides problems for the speech teacher, who believes all deaf people can speak if they practice. Sarah would rather sign. Why does she have to speak, why can't everyone else learn to sign to her? Why does she have to conform to the rest of the world? Why can't they conform to her? What makes them so great?
I'm not going to tell you whether she learns to speak or not. But regardless, she and Mr. Leeds both find happiness. There are many questions left to be answered, but I don't see it as a happy ending. It's a happy beginning.

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