‘CODA‘ is a film different from all others titles that you can currently watch in cinemas. It takes you on a journey into the world of silence, where there is no music or singing.
‘CODA’ means a child of deaf adult and this film tells the story of Ruby whose both parents are deaf, as well as her older brother. In other words she is the only hearing person in the whole family and they all depend on her heavily. But she is just a teenager who wants to live life and experience things. She falls for a boy who joins a choir so she follows in his footsteps. Her family cannot understand why she wants to sing. They can’t hear it and participate in this new world with her.
The way this film is told is not different from all Hollywood films — a little bit funny with many touching moments that might seem a little bit too sentimental. But there is one scene that stands out. When Ruby takes part in the annual students’ concert, her family comes to support her, even though they cannot hear any songs. But they can see people reactions and how much emotions her song brings to the public. At some point we see for ourselves what is it like for them. The sound disappears completely and we are left in silence together with Ruby’s parents and brother.
This film is the first one ever released in the whole country with open captions which means that deaf people are able to enjoy it without any special equipment. At the Sundance Film Festival this year it was the first film in the history of the festival that won three major awards: the grand jury prize, the audience award, the award for the best director, plus a special jury prize for best ensemble on top of it. No surprise then that it broke another record of the festival — $25 million for distribution rights acquired by Apple TV+. It is available from today both in theaters and through their streaming service.
The film is also a coming-of-age-story of a girl who just follows her dream, supported by her family, her teacher and the boy she likes. So it’s similar to other films of this genre but her obstacles are a little bitter different from any girl next door. Since her childhood she was serving as unpaid translator for the members of her family who could not communicate with the world around them without her. Leaving them to live in Boston and study at the prestigious Berklee College of Music means abandoning them when they need her the most, on the brink of starting a new business on their own. It’s a decision they all have to make together as a family.
‘CODA’ is a remake of a French film ‘La Famille Bellier’ but unlike in the French version, here deaf members of Ruby’s family are played by deaf actors. Because representation is very important.