Film Review – The silent child by Chris Overton

This emotionally interesting film opens with a normal busy family set against a very English countryside of long lanes winding fields and rolling hills. Suzanne, Rachel Fielding provides a stellar performance steering at the helm of busy family life, however time seems to be an issue regarding young daughter Libby, Masie Sly who is hard …

This emotionally interesting film opens with a normal busy family set against a very English countryside of long lanes winding fields and rolling hills. Suzanne, Rachel Fielding provides a stellar performance steering at the helm of busy family life, however time seems to be an issue regarding young daughter Libby, Masie Sly who is hard of hearing but doesn’t like to wear her hearing aid. Whilst other siblings Seb, Sam Rees is busy doing his GCSEs and cello playing sister Pip, Anne Cussele who too is busy with school and ballet lessons etc Libby is left with hardly any communication from her family due to lack of knowledge and understanding.

Dad Paul, Philip York whose idea it was to get a speech and sign therapist in the first place with reservation from his wife employs talented Joanne, Rachel Shenton, who senses that there isn’t much interaction between Libby and her family. Jo makes expeditious progress with Libby regarding speech and sign therapy adding regular interactive days out and generally paying attention. The on-screen bond between therapist and child develops but takes a turn when Libby’s mother feels threatened by the therapist’s presence in the household.

Close-up shots of bike riding Jo on a country lane set against an emotional score really gives the essence of the tiresome work she does not only as a therapist but physically cycling to and from the family home in her active fight for Libby’s justice. Jo discovers no history of deafness in both Libby’s parents and things come to ahead.

This wonderfully shot film with an emotional score set against a beautiful English location is just outstanding. Chris Overton brilliant direction really lets the viewer share an intimacy of how a young child copes essentially living alone in a house full of people.

By letting the audience become a member of the family, the eye-opening piece with a strong message champions the importance and raises awareness of lack of support in schools for deaf children as well as highlighting deafness as not a learning difficulty. Very moving indeed.

By Anthony Arowojolu

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