The movie “Sound of Metal” (2019) starring Riz Ahmed and Olivia Cooke is a highly rated picture that portrays deafness and addiction with an accuracy that is both delicately observant and intentionally jarring. On Thursday, Feb 24, the Samford Film Club and Samford’s disability advocacy group, DREAM, collaborated to screen the film, followed by a thoughtful discussion afterwards, led by the film club president, Greg Young, and DREAM president Levi Thomas.
“DREAM’s central mission is to create an area of community on Samford’s campus where discussions about disability and the disabled community can be held,” Thomas said. “The ‘Sound of Metal’ screening was a chance to have an opportunity to talk about the relationship between disability and film.”
“Sound of Metal” follows the life of a touring metal drummer named Ruben who discovers that his hearing is rapidly deteriorating. The film is a highly experimental project that manipulates sound in an attempt to give audience a glimpse into Ruben’s journey through hearing loss by muting and muffling noise in order to mimic his experiences.
The film club president, Greg Young, explained how the power of film can impact audiences and why he believes it is important to watch films such as “The Sound of Metal.”
“Because film is such a diverse medium that can shed light on a lot of important perspectives, we think it is our responsibility to show films that bring together parts of the Samford community to engage in discussions that might not take place ordinarily,” Young said.
After the screening, participants were able to have a discussion about the film’s techniques, how the film deals with faith, how disability was portrayed in the film and what responsibilities lie in telling a story that centers around disability to a mostly able-bodied audience.
“One thing that I particularly enjoy about this film is that the disabled character is not healed by the end of it. He has begun to adapt, but his hearing never miraculously goes back to the way it was before,” Thomas said. “Combined with the fact a portion of the cast is either part of the deaf/hard of hearing community or directly connected to it, ‘Sound of Metal’ is ahead of several other films revolving around disability.”
DREAM and Film Club both have more events coming up this semester. On March 23, DREAM will host an informational event about cochlear implants with Dr. Jessica Hissam, and will partner with the Science and Religion club to host a discussion in April.
The film club will have five more screenings this semester, and an additional private screening for club members.
“I was really excited to get to show this film because it is one of my favorite films from the last few years,” Young said. “It offers such a unique perspective on how one comes to terms with their own afflictions and faith amidst adversity. The film is so many things: relentless and forgiving, peaceful and rageful, quiet and loud, and has had a huge impact on my life, as I am sure it has had for many others.”