Framed around a string of unsolved tuba thefts in Los Angeles from 2011 to 2013, the film cuts against the grain: instead of investigating the crimes like a conventional documentary, it reframes them as a metaphysical experiment — how does the absence of sound affect our experience? The film reimagines closed captions, expressing stories and ways of hearing through text placement, font size, colour, and punctuation that’s equally playful and profound. The result is a vibrant new cinematic experience — part historical documentary, part poetic video essay, with interwoven narrative vignettes — that immerses you in a rich parallel world, where you “hear” the humming of plants, the vibrations in the air from Californian forest fires, a 70s punk rock deaf concert, a performance of John Cage’s infamous 4′33″… It forces you to reevaluate your relationship with the quotidian sounds of your life. Drawing on her lived experience as a d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing person, director Alison O’Daniel transcends assumptions of sound, silence, and language in this groundbreaking hybrid documentary.
Q&A on September 30 & October 2
Nyeisha “Nyke” Prince, Russell Harvard, Geovanny Marroquin, Warren “WAWA” Snipe, Ajia Jones
In American Sign Language and English with open captions
Coarse & Sexual Language
Monday October 02
Wendy Ettinger, Maida Lynn, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen
Rachel Nederveld, Alison O’Daniel, Su Kim, Maya E. Rudolph
Alison O’Daniel, Zach Khalil
Mboni Maumba, Clover Singsen, Heather Quesada
Christine Sun Kim, Ethan Frederick Greene, Steve Roden
Alison O’Daniel is a filmmaker and visual artist. She has screened and exhibited in galleries and museums internationally, including the Centre Pompidou, Paris, FR; Centro Centro, Madrid, Spain; Renaissance Society, Chicago; Art in General, New York; and many more. O’Daniel is a United States Artist 2022 Disability Futures Fellow and a 2022 Guggenheim Fellow. She was included in Filmmaker magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film and writing. She is an Assistant Professor of Film at California College of the Arts in San Francisco.
See more films in this series:
The Mother of All Lies
As her parents and grandmother prepare to leave the Casablanca home they have lived in for decades, Asmae El Moudir takes the opportunity to probe the past, unraveling repressed truths buried within her own family and Moroccan political history.
Orlando, My Political Biography
Inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Orlando, the transgressive novel is used as a framework to investigate the very real contemporary struggles of trans and non-binary people. Winner of the Teddy Award and Encounters Jury Prize at Berlin Film Festival.
In 2018, when a police raid evicted tree-house dwelling activists in Hambach Forest, student and journalist Steffen Meyn fell to his death. His classmates compiled the two years of footage he'd shot, asking whether a cause is ever worth dying for.
In a hybrid film comprised entirely of archival footage, two fictional women are torn from each other by the tides of repressive political and patriarchal systems. A haunting, lyrical tale of longing for freedom amongst connection.
Mighty Afrin: In the Time of Floods
From the floodplains of Brahmaputra River to Bangladesh’s capital city, this stunning hybrid-documentary captures the catastrophic effects of climate change upon the country’s people and landscape. Told through an orphan's personal odyssey.
The Tuba Thieves
Drawing on her experience as a d/Deaf/Hard of Hearing person, director Alison O’Daniel transcends assumptions of sound, silence, and language in this groundbreaking hybrid doc framed around a string of unsolved tuba thefts in L.A.
In the finest tradition of MAD Magazine, found footage from classic US film and television is combined to create a fictitious American neighborhood, reflecting modern American life from 2016 - 2021 in a wildly unconventional and absurdist satire.
Jaya, a teacher and comedian, travels across the typhoon-ravaged Philippines in a bid to win a beauty pageant. En route, they pick up an unlikely companion. Comic, sorrowful, and political, Asog examines the climate crisis through a kaleidoscopic lens.
Smoke Sauna Sisterhood
Within the confines of a smoke sauna deep in an Estonian forest, groups of women gather to cleanse themselves in both body and soul, sharing in traditional sauna-based rituals, while also revealing their hurts and longings, joys and pains.
New York institution Kim’s Video closed its doors in 2008. Fifteen years later, filmmakers David Redmon and Ashley Sabin set out to find out what happened to the 55,000 film collection and uncover a story of corruption, deception, and intrigue.