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Film: Documentaries

  • By: Heather McIntosh
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

Film is the only medium capable of capturing the full range of deaf expression, and documentary film and video in particular offer the capabilities to record, preserve, and represent Deaf culture. Instead of following the medical model and the entertainment media stereotypes of deaf people as unintelligent, unhappy, and otherwise disabled, documentaries instead address key issues within the community, such as language use, assistive technologies, and education. The role of documentaries within Deaf culture raises questions about the intentions behind their production, the central themes within the documentaries, the two tensions within these representations, the media institutions and their creations of documentary, and the roles of digital technologies on productions and protests.

Early innovations in documentary film focus on the recording and projecting of everyday events. ...

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