Audible‘s story resonates powerfully. It’s a rousing success.
This review of Audible is spoiler-free.
Mathew Ogens (Go North) has flair, a visual style, and a superior sense of sound and sound editing. Like last year’s award-winning film, Sound of Metal, it plays a character in his documentary short. A film that takes a slice of life from an at-risk group that refuses to recognize anyone’s pitty, patronization, or outright prejudice. His score vibrates with life and vitality. It gives the viewer a sense of how alive these kids are and no one can limit their potential.
Ogens follows Amaree McKenstry-Hall, a senior football player, at the Maryland School for the deaf. The roster is completely made of students who cannot hear. Yet, as the film begins, their 15 game winning streak has come to an end. Amaree, the team’s leader, reminds everyone it’s just a game. There are bigger tragedies in the world, like coming to terms with a loss of a friend who was bullied for being deaf.
Ogins’ film melds together and emulates these adolescent’s feelings. The community fosters their social growth and now the fear, as they go into the real world. Will they have developed enough autonomy to function in a society that treated their friend so cruelly?
The shows are striking, you start to think these kids are playing for the camera. Which, they probably are. Yet, you realize you for it they are deaf but dancing all night during a bonfire. Shooting off fireworks, feeling the vibrations of the music. They are accentuating the senses they have.
Audible is a rousing documentary short. It can be visually stunning and its sound design may be the best use in any documentary I’ve ever seen. Its story resonates powerfully. It’s about coming of age. It’s about overcoming the mindset of adversity. And most importantly, it’s about community.