9th DMZ Docs(2017)
I AM DOCU
A 12-year-old Laura is the only contact her deaf parents have with the outside world. She accompanies them with most daily tasks such as paying the bills, going to different offices and even taking part in parents meetings at school. Laura becomes their voice in the outside world which is not always an easy task for such a young girl, nevertheless, she seems to be more mature than other teenagers at her age.
The film tells a story about the present life of Laura, a twelve- year-old CODA: Children of Deaf Adults.
Laura, a hearing person who was born to the hearing-impaired parents, experiences two worlds across both the non-hearing culture that her parents belong to and the majority hearing culture of the world. Her parents, communicating by using the hand gestures and facial expressions instead of the mouth, want to be with her together as they have ever been until now. But they, hearing-impaired parents, could not easily figure out their daughter that is confused about her identity as a CODA with the onset of puberty. She cannot pour out her troubles to her friends, hearing people. The camera records the moments when she faced them in silence.
She interprets expertly living every day with her parents or apart from them, but she has more questions in such a daily life. The feelings, registered on Laura's face while she goes between spoken language and sign language, embody the messages of the film.
We could encounter the stories of CODA across many nationalities, languages and cultures. Their stories take on similar aspects respectively. The experience that they live across two worlds could easily be explained in neither spoken languages nor sign language. To accept two worlds fully and to introduce them to hearing people or sometimes the non-hearing, it is a difficult thing but also a beautiful, brilliant thing. The film invites us to take a contemplative view on their lives with the images in home video showing the childhood of Laura, a Polish CODA, and the tranquil landscapes. [Leegil bo-ra]
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