FILM INFO: For every snap, hit, pass, and run, one team tackles a unique challenge. Located in Austin, the Texas School for the Deaf is the only school out of 1,483 high school football teams that serves the hearing impaired.
It's a funny thing when you stop to consider how many aspects of life most of us never even give a first though to. How many of us can say we've even considered... say: Football for the deaf? What amounts to a normal school experience for so many, is just another notch on the "probably won't happen" stick for the hearing impaired; another experience made that much more difficult, singling out and knocking the wind out of so many individuals. The most frustrating thing about anyone who suffers severe hearing loss, is the fact that they are normal people. We're not talking about a person who has trouble forming thoughts, or has any kind of physical handicap. We're talking about someone who simply can't hear! Yet many of us are guilty of feeling sorry for these people or treating them as if they were children; or dare I say sub-par people. Believe me when I write that's not the case here, and that "4 Quarters Of Silence" clearly demonstrates the passionate, clarity of life so many of us hearing folks, for one strange reason or another, seem to think doesn't exist if you can't hear. As for the movie itself, on so many levels it's a great production. The fact it's an indie one, for me, is a touchdown all by itself. Packed into the 15 or so minutes of this short film is not only entertainment for the viewer, but pure inspiration for anyone who watches and maybe, just maybe... a little bit of common sense geared toward people like me. Cody Broadway has pieced together a short documentary that's every bit as inspiring as your favorite Hollywood sports film. Only in this case, you may take out of it a lot more than you bargained for. The technical area of this write up is a piece of cake. From the shots themselves and the audio, straight through to the edit and post work, "4 Quarters Of Silence" plays like a top notch documentary. Kudos must be given because quite frankly, this short film looks better than most of the reality styled TV you'll watch on your screen today. The attention to the production has paid off, and I especially liked the small touches. The fact that even the folks that can hear, still "sign" their dialog. That's just one of the little things that make this such an interesting piece. Thought was obviously given to everything, and as I wrote above, the film benefits greatly. "4 Quarters Of Silence" is something everyone involved should be proud of. No question about that. As I go back and read some of what I've written above, I realize that certain phrases may make me come across as a complete wanker. As much as I've tried to remain neutral when writing about deaf people, I can't help but think some of my own fear has seeped into my review. Instead of rewriting, I've decided to leave things as they are. To those of us that can hear, the thought of loosing our own hearing is a scary one. Because it's so scary, many of us have no problem shifting our minds over to the pity benches, or simply don't know what to do or how to do it. "4 Quarters Of Silence" is another of those things that hit us like a freight train when we watch it; simply because there is nothing to pity here. Cody Broadway clearly shows us this. Physically, these young athletes would floor me long before I even realized they were hearing impaired. Mentally, these guys are sharp as a knife... and why wouldn't they be? The self respect and hard work, love and determination shown by the students, coach and parents in this short film is astounding. We could/should all take a few lessons away from this flick. In regards to the entertainment value of this movie alone... I have to say I'm not only impressed, but I watched it without blinking. -JT