Triumph Over Deafness

About the film

Instead of learning sign-language, deaf children are taught to speak and lip-read so that they might interact with others as easily as possible.

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  • Release year - 1946
  • Director - Jack Ellitt
  • Production company - D.A.T.A. Films
  • Producer - Donald Alexander
  • Cinematographer - Wolfgang Suschitzky
  • Composer - Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Narration - David Lloyd-James
  • Sound recording - A.G. Ambler
  • Assistant Editor - E. Mason
  • Assistant Camera - L. Griffiths
  • Running time (minutes) - 19 mins 57 secs

Original description

'Until recently deaf children were also dumb because they could not hear any sound to imitate. Now they are sent to special free schools where they are taught to speak and to use what hearing they may have, augmented with hearing aids. This treatment is superseding finger-language. It encourages sufferers to mix more freely with others, and the children grow up as normally as possible.'

(Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50)

Did you know?

  • Like many films in the archive, Triumph Over Deafness shows a very specific school of thought typical of its time - in this case advocating oralism and resisting sign language - ideas which are very much at odds with current thinking.
  • Unlike many of the British Council films from this era, Triumph over Deafness was largely unscripted and unrehearsed.
  • This film is a shortened version of another British Council film - Education of the Deaf. Whereas Education of the Deaf was intended for a specialist medical audience, Triumph Over Deafness was made with the general public in mind and thus goes into less detail on the specific teaching techniques.

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