You may or may not know, but back in 2009, one of my cousins, Theo, was cast in a movie that the director was hoping to release around the country. The movie chronicles the life of Ultimate Fighting Championship wrestler Matt Hamill. Matt, like my cousin, was born profoundly deaf and he faces a number of struggles as he tries to fit in with both the Hearing and Deaf communities. This past April, I went to Philadelphia to the Philadelphia Film Festival to view the movie and I have to say, I was impressed. It's a feel-good sports movie in the tradition of Rudy and The Blind Side. What makes this movie unique is that the movie is shot in English and ASL (American Sign Language), is fully captioned for the Hearing Impaired and the Sign Language Impaired, and the Deaf parts are all played by Deaf individuals. IMO, it's a strong film and I am thrilled that one of my family members was involved in it.
Now for some real good news: The movie has been picked up by a distributor and will be in theaters around the country starting on October 27th! Please do check out this page to find out if it will be showing at a theater near you. The site also plays the official teaser, but another trailer will be released on Saturday on Purple (video relay service)'s Facebook page and on its website. That's piqued my curiosity!
I do have to say there was one scene in the movie when I saw it that truly made me think of diabetes. It's the scene where Matt Hamill (played by Russel Harvard) first sees the girl who would later become his wife, Kirsti (played by Shoshanna Stern). Kirsti is leading a rally to try to encourage the students at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID) to support legislation that will help educate more Deaf children. She tells the crowd that the Deaf community has been silent too long and now is the time for the community to be heard. I couldn't help but think the Diabetes community, too, has been silent for far too long while people have died. We need to be heard, too! We ought to take a page from the Deaf community's activism and become more active ourselves!