Anja Hiddinga

Thank you for visiting us here.
We hope you watch our film about elderly deaf people, whose stories are un-heard and not very well known. Even within the deaf community. Most deaf children are born in hearing families and deaf parents have hearing children. Stories are not passed on through the generations in the usual way.
Sign language is a visual language and it can't be written down. The film medium is thus the only way to capture it's beauty and the richness of the stories.
We want to keep making films to help preserve Deaf culture and show it to the world.
Hoping for your support to our work and dream to continue.
Anja Hiddinga and Jascha Blume

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I Sign, I Live| 58mins
Director: Anja HIddinga | Producer:
Focus Years: | Country: Netherlands
Subject Tags: communication, culture, education, ego, europe, global, human rights, identity, netherlands
Quality Tags: Optimistic, Slow, Activating, Harmonizing
Jascha is a young deaf art student who doesn’t care much about the hearing world. But he can't escape it if he wants to fulfill his ambitions. This makes him rebellious and uncertain. Armed with a camera, he visits Europe’s only home for elderly deaf people and tries to find out how these people have lived their lives. They tell him about their youth, when sign language was forbidden, and about their struggles against embarrassment and indignities. Though Jascha's world is very different he finds himself wondering whether some answers to his questions might be found in their stories. His fight for equality and respect, both as an individual and as a member of a cultural minority, the Deaf community, echo the life experiences of the elderly. The deaf community in The Netherlands is small and (as in most countries) its sign language not officially recognized by the government. The denial of access, of equal opportunities to live, work and participate in society are at the top of the agenda of the Deaf movement. Jascha’s camera images, sometimes edited in split screen, are comments on what he encounters and reflections on his own life. All dialogue is in Dutch Sign Language.

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Anja Hiddinga



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