Academy Awards “Best Picture” winner CODA is perhaps one of the most representative family-drama films to date. The film “CODA” showcases the life of a not-so-typical family living in a small town. It centers on the life of a teenager, Ruby as the only hearing member of a deaf family.
It started with the display of the non-hearing family’s difficulties in communicating with other people since Ruby’s father and brother are fishermen. She was forced to intervene as the men in her life are repeatedly taken advantage of. Their catch and products are bought at a lower price.
Ruby’s passion for music was the main structural narrative used in the film. A passion that she established with her choir adviser, Mr. V, as she tried to audition for the choir club. However, the main dilemma in the story is that her family members do not appreciate her craft. It’s hard to appreciate music when you cannot hear it. This proves to be the main conflict of the story. It is then that Ruby is forced to make a choice. These choices are whether she would stay to help her family or pursue her dreams as a singer.
The main aspect of the movie that has definitely made it a significant form of production is the cast. The cast of this movie is real-life deaf actors that added to the raw authenticity of the film. It also helps provide texture to its narrative. The performance of the entire cast is really admirable. Especially, considering that the movie was self-aware enough to not depict the deaf-mute community as pitiful or pathetic. A trope that most films are guilty of perpetuating.
The movie is actually a deviation away from the common depiction of people with disabilities. This is because CODA showed that deaf and mute people can be flawed, humorous, and heart-achingly human. May it be in their own unique ways. Beyond the characterization of the deaf characters, the performance of the main character is also applaudable in this film.
What does CODA mean?
CODA actually stands for Child of Deaf Adults. The film beautifully and tenderly revealed how difficult it is for hearing children guide their deaf parents in this world. Our normative landscape was not created to cater to the special needs of their parents. This fact makes the lives of CODAs around the world more challenging. The main character was forced into immense maturity and responsibility as the only hearing member of her family. The depiction of this, makes one feel sorry for the characters in the film. A sense of empathy for the child that was robbed of her childhood and dreams. And the parents, who did not choose their situation or their disabilities.
What CODA taught me.
The scenes of the movie show how normal tasks could be difficult and challenging for people in the deaf-mute community. It is both very heart-wrenching and also extremely enlightening. The movie reveals that no matter how woke we claim to be, our social landscape is still not yet fully inclusive and tolerating of the PWD sector.
Precious' only desire for the future is to be more human. The world we live in has shackled us in the limitations of practicality that we are taught that to be human is to be weak. She wants to change that narrative and attempt to prove that the best way to progress and equality is by amplifying our humanity. Believe it or not- she absurdly believes that this could be done through writing. On a more formal and boring note she has a journalism degree with plans to pursue legal studies in the future.