In the Land of the Deaf
|In the Land of the Deaf|
Japanese version of promotional poster
|Directed by||Nicolas Philibert|
Fondation de France
Télévision Suisse Romande
|Written by||Nicolas Philibert|
|Edited by||Guy Lecorne|
French Sign Language
In the Land of the Deaf is the English title of a French documentary (Le Pays des sourds) created and produced by Nicolas Philibert in 1992. The film is presented French Sign Language (FSL) and French, with English subtitles and closed captions. Philibert uses sparse dialogue in creating an unsentimental, non-manipulative work which allows its subjects to communicate their feelings about the richness of life despite hearing problems.
Prior to its initial theatrical release, this excursion into the unique world of Deaf communities in France was featured in international film festivals.
This film focuses on the interrelationships between Deaf culture and language in France. Its overview encompasses a broad range of perspectives, contrasting the stories of a family who has been deaf and thriving for five generations with the story of a woman whose deafness was misunderstood, causing her to be confined for a time in an asylum for the insane. The documentary features hearing-impaired people of all ages and from all walks of life. With their profound deafness in common, the children and adults featured in this film communicate their dreams and thoughts through sign language. In one segment, Philibert focuses his camera on group of schoolchildren who are learning how to communicate in a world where they must read lips and speak words. The personal lives of some of the pupils and various adults are explored, including an actor, a sign-language teacher, and an engaged couple.
This documentary was co-produced by multinational partners, which reduced the financial risks inherent in the project; and co-production also ensured enhanced distribution opportunities.
Film festivals and honors
This small film has attracted an appreciative international audience. The quotidian life of the deaf as presented by Philibert is distinguished by an unsentimental compassion and an affirmation of the serendipitous.
- Locarno International Film Festival (Switzerland), official selection, 1992.
- Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival (Japan), official selection, 1993.
- Cannes Film Festival (France), Prix de la Fondation GAN pour le Cinéma, 1992.
- Belfort Film Festival (France), Grand Prize, 1992.
- Festival dei Popoli (Italy), Grand Prize, 1992.
- Vancouver International Film Festival (Canada), Grand Prize, 1993.
- Valladolid International Film Festival (Spain), Special Jury Prize (Prix «Tiempo de Historia»), 1993.
- Mumbai International Film Festival (India), Grand Prize, 1994.
- San Francisco International Film Festival (USA), Golden Gate Award, 1994.
- Potsdam International Film Festival (Germany), Best Documentary, 1994.
- Communication Awards (USA), Stephanie Beacham Award, 1994.
- Peabody Award (USA), 1997.
- France Diplomatie: In the Land of the Deaf.
- Library Media Project: In the Land of the Deaf; note that a brief segment in Japan includes Japanese Sign Language (JSL)
- U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishop's Office for Film and Broadcasting: Review: "In the Land of the Deaf."
- George Peabody Award: 1997 winners Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine., p. 64.
- Nickel, Mark. "Brown to offer French Film Festival at Cable Car Cinema Feb. 10-20," Brown University News Service. February 7, 2000.
- Harvard Film Archive Cinematheque: In the Land of the Deaf.
- Cine-Regio: Co-production
- "In the Land of the Deaf (1993)," New York Times.
- Rhône-Alpes Cinéma: Le pays des sourds.
- Kardish, Laurence. "Nicolas Philibert: The Extraordinary Ordinary," Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). June 5–7, 2003.
- Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival: YIDFF ’93 Screening List
- Ciné-resources: Le pays des sourds; Philibert, Nicolas. Retour en Normandie, Bande Annonce. October 2007.
- Festival dei Popoli: Le pays des sourds.
- Mumbai International Film Festival (MFII): Best non-fiction film over 40 mins.
- Boiron, Michel. Le pays des sourds. TV5MONDE l'émission de mois: Fiche No. 57, April 2004.
- Delaporte, Yves. (2002). Les sourds, c'est comme ça: ethnologie de la surdimutité. Paris: Maison des sciences de l'homme. ISBN 978-2-7351-0935-7; OCLC 49382889
- Harrington, Richard. Review: "In the Land of the Deaf," Washington Post. October 7, 1994.
- James, Caryn. Review: "Discovering Eloquence Amid Silent Gestures," New York Times. September 14, 1994.
- Philibert, Nicolas. (1992). Le pays des sourds. Paris: Ministere des Affaires Etrangères.
- Ramnarayan, Gowri. Review: "Lens view of life," The Hindu (Chennai). April 26, 2004.