Hearing Link

Award-winning film Sound of Metal to be released in cinemas

**Warning: This article may contain spoilers**

Sound of Metal, which recently picked up two Oscars, will be released in UK cinemas from Monday (17th May 2021).

Darius Marder’s directional debut follows the first-person perspective of a heavy metal drummer, Ruben (Riz Ahmed), whose hearing suddenly begins to deteriorate.

After four years of sobriety, girlfriend and bandmate Lou (Olivia Cooke) fears that Ruben will relapse as he begins to struggle with the reality of his permanent hearing loss. Ruben and Lou leave in their ramshackle caravan to seek help at a rural recovery facility for Deaf addicts, where they meet Joe (Paul Raci), a recovering alcoholic who lost his hearing during the Vietnam War.

Ruben’s life is turned upside down as he grapples with rage, identity, and acceptance over three acts. The film’s entwining of
senses and perspective creates a new kind of audience participation, with sound design acting as a vehicle for the film’s thematic delivery. Sound of Metal’s interaction between pacing and audio enables both Ruben and the audience to find stillness in silence.

This story portrays a unique perspective of deafness, Deaf culture, and the spectrum of deaf identity, embodying a breakthrough in d/Deaf representation on the silver screen, both in storytelling and access.

Sound of Metal is shown with open captions; an executive decision that signifies the importance of access for the communities whose stories are being told. This dedication to accessible cinema not only cements the film’s narrative but also ignites a conversation on inaccessibility within film exhibition and filmmaking.

Sound of Metal isn’t afraid to explore the nuances of deafness and adaptation, and the film’s authentic feel is born out of the consultation and inclusion of Deaf talent (including Lauren Ridloff, Marvel’s first Deaf superhero).

The film’s substance is a direct result of genuine research and consultation. Marder worked intimately with Deaf people, hard of hearing people, and CODA (Children of Deaf Adults) both before and during filming, creating a rich and authentic atmosphere for scenes that highlight Deaf culture.

In addition to Lauren Ridloff, a large portion of the cast are Deaf actors. Before filming, Ahmed learnt American Sign Language by working closely with the Brooklyn Deaf community, wearing custom devices in his ears to simulate progressive
deafness. He also spent four months learning the drums. Sound of Metal symbolises a pivotal moment for on-screen Deaf representation.

Watch the subtitled trailer here…

(Please note: This trailer contains explicit language.)

 

The film will be released in cinemas nationwide from Monday (17th May) check your local venue for times.

Sound of Metal recently won two Oscars for Best Sound and Best Achievement in Film Editing. It was also nominated for four further Oscars – Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Film and Best Original Screenplay.

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