No Ordinary Hero: The Super Deafy Movierd(directed by Troy Kotsur) is a film that will only been seen when people are able to host screenings, so check out the official website: http://www.noordinaryheromovie.com/ for details. On a side note, this nerdy writer sees bloggers complain about the lack of diversity in mainstream cinema on a regular basis. Some lamented that when the Eleventh Doctor morphed into the twelfth that he wasn’t a woman. Others wanted to see Black Hobbits and Elves in Middle Earth. There certainly should be more diversity, but instead of criticizing works that don’t have enough (if studio execs do pay attention to the bloggers they would shoehorn in patronizing diversity with flat characters rather than fleshed out characters because they’re idiots who want to sell stories more than tell stories.), people should support films that already have diversity. They exist, but it takes effort to see them. They are entered into film festivals, and if they get picked up the best they can hope for is art house distribution. Here in Southwest Ohio there are a few art house theaters including: The Neon in Dayton http://neonmovies.com/ Little Art in Yellow Springs http://www.littleart.com/ the Mariemont Theater near Cincinnati http://www.mariemonttheatre.com/ among others. Show studios that there in an interest in films with diversity by supporting the existing films that weave it seamlessly into their plots. Check out art house websites and supply to their newsletters. It’s a good idea for Small Business Saturday.
Now onto the Super Deafy review. One of this writer’s person heroes is Helen Keller. Her life after the events of The Miracle Worker, was extraordinary, all the more extraordinary knowing that she was blind and deaf. The premise was Super Deafy was intriguing. Fortunately, it was also well executed by the filmmakers. The story features two deaf protagonists living in a hearing world with compassionate and cruel people alike. There is Super Deafy himself (John Maucere), a man who grew up in foster homes after his parents died and created a character for children to relate to, and Jacob (Zane Henckner), a young boy who wants to be “normal” and feels isolated from the other students in his class. The film also features the great Marlee Matlin as herself).
The film tackles several issues in addition to show what it is like for deaf people, so it doesn’t just feel like a preachy, eye roll inducing after school special. There is the issue of schools trying to nurture diversity with limited resources and compliance restrictions, politicians not really understanding the day to day issues that cause their constituents to struggle, idiotic studio execs who try to dumb down film and television because they aren’t smart enough to market intelligent work (like the Weinstein Company reducing Snowpiercer’s mainstream distribution when the filmmakers wouldn’t cut 20 minutes the studio didn’t think people in the Midwest would understand), parents trying to do what’s best for their children and clashing over tough love and making a tough situation a little easier; this film has plenty of layers and social relevance.
It also doesn’t insult the audience’s intelligence. There are characters in the film that are simply jerks or clueless morons. The filmmakers don’t beat the audience over the head with the fact that those characters are less than desirable. They antagonize the stories heroes, but it’s not overdone or cartoonish. That’s refreshing. The main characters are sympathetic. Moments of triumph induce tears of joy, and moments of sorry produce tears of empathy. There are moments when the film goes silent so the audience can feel what the protagonists feel.
This writer recommends that people make the effort to find out when and where this film is playing and check it out. It may even be available to stream online. It’s an effective, feel good film.