Friday, October 29th, 2021

AUDIBLE : a story of loss, love and triumph at a Deaf High School


In his new short movie, AUDIBLE filmmaker Matthew Ogens abandons us all so quickly.  We are so totally engrossed in the story of his finely nuanced documentary that when it ends in 44 minutes we feel almost robbed.  He makes it impossible for us not to feel so connected with his cast of deaf high school friends that we wished we got to spend more time with them.

Ogens follows three of the students at the Maryland School for the Deaf (MSD) in the city of Frederick. The central character is Amaree the star player in the school’s winning football team who like the other players is struggling with the sudden death of one of Teddy one of their best friends.

Teddy was black, deaf, and gay and when he had transferred to a regular High School he was mercilessly bullied on all counts. So much so he took his own life.  He was only 16 years old and had just started dating Jalen, who is another of the three students that Ogens camera is following.

Jalen is not a player but a very enthusiastic member of the school’s cheerleaders team.

Ogens starts his film with the very first loss that the football team had suffered after a winning streak of  42 games.  So next they will be having to face their final game of the season …. the Homecoming match … and they are determined to go out on top.  For all their sakes and to honor Teddy’s memory.

The whole concept of thee young deaf athletes playing championship football is probably something very few had even thought of.  Ogens however ensures that we regard them with the full respect they deserve, especially when we witness the remarkable camaraderie throughout both the team and the school in general. It is a place of such genuine joy

There is a touching scene between Amaree and the third student that Ogens has been focusing on.  It is Lena a member of the cheerleading team who wants to clarify with Amaree that she is his girlfriend. 

Then to bring us really back down to earth with such a thud, we see these friends and Teddy’s adopted parents share a moment of peaceful meditation amount the teenagers grave. It is a very sharp reminder of the devastating effects of unchecked bullying that still in this day and age makes such victims of gay …… and deaf ….. teenagers.

Audible is now streaming on Netflix, and we sincerely hope it reaches the audiences who so badly need to see it.

Posted by queerguru  at  13:16

Genres:  coming of age, documentary, shorts

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