Posts Tagged ‘media coverage of stuttering’
I recently went to see the short film “Stutterer,” which was shown as part of five short films nominated for Oscars in the live action category. It is exciting to see another film about stuttering up for an Academy Award. Hopefully it will ignite stuttering awareness.
The short film is only 12 minutes long, but packs a punch. On opening, you see the main character, Greenwood, struggle to speak on the phone. Later in the film, we see Greenwood’s father make the phone call for him.
The film conveys how much of a struggle it is for Greenwood to speak, yet in his head, the words flow eloquently and effortlessly.
He is lonely, because he is terrified of communicating with anyone. He is studying sign language and pretends to be deaf so he can communicate without having to speak verbally.
The crux of the film centers around a relationship he has with a beautiful girl he has met online. He can communicate with ease as he types out witty responses to this girl.
But soon she wants to meet in person. She writes him suggesting a meet up, as she is planning a visit. This brings him to a panic, and he doesn’t respond to her right away.
She assumes his non-response means that he doesn’t want to meet. Finally, after much delay, he gets up the courage and writes to her saying he’d like to meet if she was still interested.
When they meet, he discovers she is deaf and communicates through sign language.
The short film was deeply satisfying and left me wanting more. I wanted to see what became of their meet up and if they started dating. I wanted to see if he got up the courage to seek out speaking situations despite his severe stutter.
I felt the character’s stuttering was very realistic, as was his fear of negative social reactions and judgement.
My concern is the portrayal of sign language as a viable alternative to speaking. I worry that stutterers will see this film and get the idea that using sign language to avoid speaking is OK. That’s not the message we should send to the stuttering community, especially young people who have not yet found their voices.
The film is a romance and really doesn’t aim to raise stuttering awareness. But maybe the title will do the trick and get people talking about stuttering which always provides a good opportunity to educate and raise awareness.
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The NSA asked the question on their Facebook page and asked people to respond. The Mighty used those quotes in the piece they wrote up. They even created graphics and attributed the quotes to the people, like me, who responded.
Check out the piece here – Eight Truths People Who Stutter Wish Everyone Understood. They did a great job!
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Interesting reference to stuttering!
I was watching an episode of “Nurse Jackie” on Showtime this week with a friend that also stutters. There was an interesting reference made to stuttering, which was comedic and meant to be funny.
A doctor character out of the blue grabbed the breast of the main nurse character. She became angry and immediately pulled away, saying something like, “are you kidding?”
The doctor explained that this was a reaction to stress that he gets, similar to Tourette’s Syndrome.
The doctor grabbed the same nurse’s breast later in the episode. She reacted the same way and the doctor responded with “I can’t help it. When I get stressed, I react like this. It’s like a physical stutter.”
Both my friend and I laughed. We weren’t at all offended by the reference to stuttering, which of course does not manifest itself in such a way.
What do you think? Would you have found it funny? Or do you think it was in poor taste?
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Buzzfeed has a great article called “25 Things All People Who Stutter Will Understand.” It’s surprisingly spot-on and doesn’t make fun of, or demean, people who stutter.
Enjoy! Can you relate to any of them?
This is a clip from the 2014 movie, “The Angriest Man in Brooklyn,” starring Robin Williams and James Earl Jones, an actor who stutters in “real life.”
I think Robin William’s character expresses some of the impatience that listeners often experience when listening to someone who stutters.
What do you think? Do you find this funny or in poor taste? Personally, I found it funny.
Caution: adult language at the end of the clip.
If you haven’t seen this yet, check it out. It shows us that stuttering/stammering doesn’t have to hold us back and that we can achieve anything with grit and persistence.
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David Haas, from Syracuse, New York, gives a great talk about his experience with stuttering at TEDx Syracuse University 2014.
He gave me permission to share his talk here on the blog. Great job, David.