DEAF-L: The Key: A Film in American Sign Language

Key Words: Curriculum Materials, language & literacy, 7-12

Subj: "The Key" in ASL
Date: 97-05-13 10:55:59 EDT
From: Emilie.J.Quast-1@TC.UMN.EDU (Emilie Quast)
Sender: DEAF-L@SIU.EDU (Deaf List)
Reply-to: DEAF-L@SIU.EDU (Deaf List)

I thought some of you might be interested in a new video--just reviewed in the 4/15 'Library Journal', p. 134. Strongly recommended in LJ for school and public libraries with ASL or Southern literature collections. Request/recommend purchase by your public and school libraries.

"The Key: a film in American Sign Language" color. 28 minutes. Francis James.

from the review: "...adapted from Eudora Welty's story about a poor couple on a pilgrimage of renewal.... This program adds a twist by featuring a deaf couple as the protagonists.... Quality is high [time sense was distorted by costuming and setting]. But the actors convincingly evoke the emotions and mood of the story.... The use of ASL as the primary language heightens the anticipatory nature of the plot. A supplemental film, 'The making of "The Key,"' explains more about this deaf/hearing collaboration. ... "

distributed by Intl. Film Circuit, PO Box 1151, Old Chelsea Station, New York NY 10011. (212)-779-9129. $179.95 plus $10 s+h. For Public Performance.

I think it's interesting that the reviewer felt the artists used ASL as a tool to heighten the drama, rather as camera techniques or lighting were used, instead of merely as a means of communication. I haven't seen the film, but it's an interesting film concept, which I hope will be further explored by other directors and producers.

Emilie Quast------------INTERNET (
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Uploaded by: BJ Lawrence/ Kent State University/ Deafed Major