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"La Famille Bélier" is a new French film that has opened across France - but has caused a big controversy in the deaf community 

For most hearing viewers it will be a great film ""Here is a film that makes you laugh, makes you think and occasionally makes you cry," said the newspaper, Le Parisien.

The film tells the story of a Deaf farming family with a 17-year-old hearing daughter daughter  who has a beautiful singing voice . Paula Bélier's decides  to leave home to become a professional singer . Her Deaf parents  want her to succeed but cannot themselves appreciate or understand her singing talent.

 And of course they lose their interpreter!

But the problems for th Deaf community are because the  film makers decided to use two famous hearing actors to play the Deaf couple. They were given training in sign language  but it was  not enough to allow Deaf people to watch the film without seeing their language mangled! 

"The actors sign like pigs," said Emmanuelle Laborit, a deaf French actress, who is director of the International Visual Theatre. "It is as if they were foreigners who can't speak French properly. Would we allow actors to black up to play a black character?"

There are also complaints that the role of the Deaf characters is to provide a comic role.  

The film has not been released in England yet - so we've yet to see how the British Deaf community responds 

 

 

 

 

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