Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021


Year: 1999
Country: United States
Run Time: 80 minutes

If you could cure an ailment ? especially a child's ? why wouldn't you? But if that ailment is deafness, reversible now by advanced electronic inner-ear implants, are you curing a malady or contributing to the destruction of a human culture? Easy answers do not come through loud and clear in this nonfiction clash of the Artinians, a Long Island family afflicted with congenital deafness and conflicted by the latest medical advances. Peter and Nina Artinian consider a cochlear implant for their young daughter Heather, but Peter's mind seems already made up. A successful computer programmer, he's "happy to be deaf," proudly dwelling with his wife and deaf friends in a reality delineated by silence and American Sign Language. The operation would thrust their daughter away from them and into the realm of the "hearing world," obsoleting ASL and the appreciation of "deaf culture." For Peter's brother and his wife, meanwhile, it's no question. Two hearing parents of a deaf baby, they are determined to give their boy the natural advantage of all five senses ? and deplore that Peter is depriving his daughter, possibly even his wife, of the opportunity to perceive a universe of sound. In this passionate and compelling documentary, who will be heard above the cacophony? Who will be hearing at all when it is over?

Josh Aronson

Roger Weisberg.

Brian Danitz, Gordy Waterman.

Anne Collins.

Film Contact
Questions? >


Check out our extensive CIFF45 FAQs for answers to all your CIFF45 Streams questions.

Donate >


Your donation helps fulfill our mission to promote artistically and culturally significant film arts through education and exhibition.

Sign up for our email newsletter

  • facebook
  • twitter
  • instagram
  • youtube
  • flickr
  • alexa
  • foursquare



We promise you, it will make a difference!

Give Today