North Texas Daily

Recent film appropriately captures Deaf community

Recent film appropriately captures Deaf community

Recent film appropriately captures Deaf community
April 19
12:00 2018

There’s a new movie out called “A Quiet Place” starring John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, and I haven’t seen it yet. But if you’ve ever been on the internet before, you know that you don’t need to actually watch a popular, newly released movie to figure out what happens. Everyone on Twitter has you covered there.

From what I understand, it is about a small family that, I guess, lives in some sort of bunker and has to go about their daily living in silence — no speaking or loud noises — because they live under the constant threat of some monsters attacking or something. (I told you I haven’t seen it — that’s the best I got.)

But the important thing to note about this film is that the director (also Krasinski) pushed to include an actual deaf actress, Millicent Simmonds, as one of the main characters.

It cannot be expressed enough how important it is to actually seek out marginalized communities and include them in media. Especially in instances like this when a person from that group has real life experiences that will make a role much more authentic. People outside of such a group will never be able to fully encompass what it is like to experience life within the group, therefore, they can’t play the role as accurately or genuinely.

Even if they could, the role still deserves to be filled by someone from the actual communities that have been snubbed and misrepresented for years.

This is not groundbreaking by any means — it should be standard in the film industry by now. But unfortunately, Hollywood still has some leaps and bounds to make when it comes to accurate representation of certain groups.

The world is a really big and diverse place. It’s time we start seeing stories about people other than able-bodied, thin, attractive, white, straight and cis-gendered people because they exist, and they deserve to feel understood in media the same way hegemonic societal groups are.

In your day-to-day life, does every individual you come across look, act, think and feel exactly like you? Probably not. So why are so many Hollywood films so homogenous?

I know the answer to that question (fat cats in the industry are mostly straight, white, old men, and this lack of diversity flows down into the content they produce), but I digress.

The film industry needs to get creative with its casting, make more of an effort to tap into oppressed groups — especially when telling stories that involve them — and, in general, stop casting the same actors all the time. Jennifer Lawrence can only play so many dramatic blonde women.

Featured Image: Illustration by Austin Banzon

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Rachel Herzer

Rachel Herzer

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