聯合國《殘疾人權利公約》:

 

       「於教育方面,殘疾人士不會因殘疾而被拒於普通教育系統之外。

        另外,殘疾人士教育,應宣傳聾人的語言特性及其他殘疾人士

        的溝通方法。」

第三屆香港國際聾人電影節 - 前言
The Third Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival - Foreword

對聾人電影的兩種理解:「正面聾人身份」(Deafhood)電影和「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」(deafness)電影

文:譚兆仁/ 第三屆香港國際聾人電影節籌委會(健聽)主席

無綫電視最近上演了一套關於泰拳的劇集,名叫《拳王》。《拳王》中的次要情節描述了聾啞孤女丁恩慈(胡定欣飾)如何奮鬥成為全港首位聾人女泰拳手。雖然胡憑聾啞女拳手一角贏得不少獎項,但她的演出未能如實地反映聾人的生活。劇中不乏手語對白,例如朱細祥(陳國邦飾)為了博紅顏歡笑,常以手語與丁溝通。但是整套劇集拍攝手語對話的鏡頭以側面特寫為主,未能將整個手語動作呈現在螢光幕。觀眾很多時候看到揮動的手臂,而看不見手型。不諳手語的觀眾會誤以為這些關注弱勢社群的劇集能夠促進平等機會,最終也只不過是綽頭而已。

究竟什麼是聾人電影(媒體)?

聾人電影沒有一個統一的概念,不斷地轉化。這意味著在不同的時間、在不同的地方、不同的人會對聾人電影有不同的詮釋。我們可以通過世界各地聾人電影節的節目安排,以及/聾人和聽障人士在媒體上的再現去了解聾人電影的意義。

不同聾人電影節放映著不同類型的聾人電影。香港國際聾人電影節所放映的影片包括了一些由聾人及聾人友好的健聽朋友所製作,關於聾人歷史、文化和平等運動等議題的影片(如《默書》、《贖罪》和《無聲之旅》)、一些發揮聾人的創造力,由聾人所製作,但不涉及聾人議題的手語/口語配音影片(如《神秘的Moor》和《Marianne 很重要》),以及一些由植入了人工耳蝸/配帶了助聽器的雙/口語聾人/聽障人士所製作,並廣泛地使用口語對白,具爭議性的「聾人」創意影片(如《影子潛行者》)。英國聾人電影節Deaffest所播放的電影包括了一些聾人所製作的電影(有些作品會涉及聾人議題),以及一些配有字幕的迪士尼流行動畫電影。多倫多國際聾人電影及藝術節不只是放映聾人議題電影,它首映了由聾人製作、探討精神分裂症的獲獎紀錄片《Marianne很重要》。斯德哥爾摩聾人電影節Dövfilmfestival由聾人一手包辦,注重「正面聾人身份」(Deafhood),主要放映由聾人所製作的電影,但不會放映手語歌影片。有趣的是第十三屆Dövfilmfestival放映了一齣由瑞典聾人拍攝小狗當明星的影片。這與聾人議題並不相關。不同地區的聾人電影節展出不同類型的聾人電影,對聾人電影似乎沒有下單一的定義。依Dövfilmfestival的策展人Gunilla Wågström Lundqvist女士和Ylva Björklund女士所想,聾人電影節應嘗試以加強「正面聾人身份」作為終極目標。

當我們要了解甚麼可以稱為聾人電影的時候,我們需要區分兩個關於聾人身份的概念「正面聾人身份」(Deafhood)和「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」(deafness)以談論與聾人電影有關的想法。

我們可以將一些帶有聾人和手語正面形象的電影稱為「正面聾人身份」電影(Cinema of Deafhood)。英國聾人社會學家Paddy Ladd創造了「Deafhood」這個字,對聾人身份作了一個非病理化的認識,並視手語為建設聾人文化的工具。聾不再被視為一種疾病。聾人只不過是與另外一些人擁有手語作為共同語言的群體。聾人身份能夠讓聾人引以為傲。比利時荷蘭語佛蘭芒地區聾人手語媒體運動家Sven Noben透過研究遊牧民族和太平洋島國部落如何利用電台廣播保育口頭傳統以建立群體意識,敦促設立手語媒體的必要性。他認為聾人社群應積極通過手語視覺媒體平台(如電視)為聾人社區中建立一個手語傳統。台灣公共電視《聽聽看》節目聾人編導陳立育認為手語對塑造正面聾人身份扮演著一個很重要的角色。但是,考慮到剪接美學和台灣南部和北部在使用手語上並不一致的時候,他認為替聾人媒體配上字幕,在製作和發行上可能是一個紓緩溝通障礙、具美學和實用性的解決方案。「正面聾人身份」電影(Cinema of Deafhood)可以歸納為:(1)任何有聾人和/或聽障人仕參與製作及演出的手語影片;及(2)不論製作及演出是否聾人或聽障人仕,任何探討「正面聾人身份」及聾人和聽障人仕議題的影片。這些議題包括:健聽霸權、恐聾症、唇讀辯意術/以口語作為教學媒介的意識形態(Oralism)、以手語作為教學媒介的意識形態(Manualism)、以雙語作為教學媒介的意識形態(Sign Bilingualism)、手語的發展、手語翻譯、人工耳蝸和助聽器的使用對聾人文化和歷史的負面影響,以及健聽父母與聾人子女/聾人父母與健聽子女之間的關係。

然而,「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」電影(Cinema of deafness)則可以理解為那些將聾人貶低為殘疾人(disabled people)的電影。這些電影否定手語的使用,以及鼓勵使用人工耳蝸和助聽器,加強了健聽霸權、恐聾症、唇讀辯意術/以口語作為教學媒介的意識形態對聾人的負面影響。換句話說,「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」電影把耳聾視為一種聽力損失的疾病/身體上的缺陷。有時,「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」電影會形成一個錯覺,讓社會大眾以為自己很接納聾人。以同情心視聾人為殘疾人是一種接納他人的錯覺。相反,以同理心認為聾人是擁有不同能力人士才是讓人認識「正面聾人身份」的行為。

「正面聾人身份」電影和「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」電影看起來像是兩個相互排斥的概念,但實際情況可能不是這回事。聾人電影節要鞏固「正面聾人身份」。然而,聾人電影節策展人在節目安排上會遇上很多難題。有些時候聾人和聽障人士所拍攝的電影片會帶有「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」意識。也有些場合,一個聾人電影節會誤播了一些帶有「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」意識的國外主流商業電影。由於口語教育歷史悠久,許多聾人和聽障人士沒有受過手語教育。近期的溫哥華聾人教育會議讚揚手語對聾人教育的重要性。基於這個原因,聾人學校重新推出手語作為教學語言。這可以視為對1880年米蘭會議在健聽霸權及口語教育霸權的影響下,對手語下禁令而衍生出來的非殖民化過程。可是,口語和手語教育的長期爭戰已分化了聾人社群。如美國這些聾人可以在學校接受手語教育的國家,一些聾人家庭中出生的聾人認為他們是優於健聽家庭出生的聾人。美國聾人作家Matthew Moore稱那些認為自己比他人卓越的的聾人為「強勢聾人」(strong-Deaf);而這種自負的現象為「聾人精英主義」(Deaf Elitism)。顯然,一些聾人誤將手語教育的勝利轉化成聾人精英主義。 (請參見:http://www.deafculture.com/commentary/)電影《贖罪》敘述了關於手語和口語在教育之間的爭戰和聾人社群面如何面對健聽霸權的痛苦一些例子。我們可以從電影察覺到現代電話發明者Alexander Graham Bell的妻子Mabel Gardiner Hubbard那個角色所面臨著的困境。Mabel是童年時期才變成聾的,並往後接受口語訓練。在電影中,聾人兒童接受口語訓練,並被教導視Mabel為榜樣。當Mabel見到這個情況,她因為聾人兒童被迫接受口語訓練而不是手語訓練,而感到遺憾。後來,口語聾人Mabel遇上了她的健聽霸權丈夫在教堂反對一對手語聾人婚姻的尷尬情況。由於並非所有聾人接受手語教育,無可避免一些聾人/聽障人士內化了口語教育的意識型態。此外,聾人學校不會教授聾人文化歷史。因此,一些聾人是不知道怎樣區別「正面聾人身份」(Deafhood)和「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」(Deafness)。在「正面聾人身份」電影的思維下,播放如《影子潛行者》這類由聾人/聽障朋友拍攝,充滿口語對白的「爭議性」電影是一個艱難的決定。當我跟聾人籌委討論他們為什麼要播放《影子潛行者》的時候,他們說不出為什麼要播放。一個他們想播放該片的原因可能是該片的類型是罕見於聾人電影節的驚悚片。所以我努力在想一個播放該片的理由。這種電影是屬於「正面聾人身份」電影,抑或是「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」電影?接受口語教育的聾人/聽障學生是否有機會在聾人電影節以外展示自己的電影?雖然《影子潛行者》廣泛使用口語對白和忽視手語而鞏固了「失聽/弱聽聾人身份」,它是一個接受口語教育的聾人/聽障學生的第一部影片。雖然這種爭議性電影並未反映「正面聾人身份」,但播放這電影能讓我們擁抱廣義聾人社群內的文化多樣性。聾人精英主義不應該是「正面聾人身份」的表現形式。在這個聾人身份去非殖民化的過程中,「正面聾人身份」電影應作為一個包容性的概念,為米蘭和溫哥華兩個聾人教育會議的善後工作創造空間。無論如何,聾人電影節應該優先考慮手語媒體。

聾人電影節如雨後春筍遍布世界各地。不計Deaf Way聾人會議中的電影放映,芝加哥和斯德哥爾摩兩個先驅聾人電影節在十三年前發生。斯德哥爾摩聾人電影節是世界上歷史最悠久、仍然運作中的聾人電影節。2012年,南美洲第一個聾人電影節在厄瓜多爾開幕。在第十三屆斯德哥爾摩聾人電影節上,我認識了一個葡萄牙聾人。他想在里斯本籌辦第一個葡萄牙聾人電影節。香港以及世界各地的聾人朋友要繼續努力,發揮第三屆香港國際聾人電影節的口號精神:「擁抱多元文化,做個聾的傳人」。


Two notions of Deaf Cinema: “Cinema of Deafhood” VS “Cinema of deafness”

Text: Xavier Tam/ Chairperson (Hearing), Organizing Committee of The Third Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival)

The sub-plot of TVB’s recent popular Muay Thai drama Gloves Come Off featured a deaf and mute character Ting Yan Chi (Nancy Wu) who aspires to be the first female deaf Muay Thai boxer in Hong Kong. Wu’s performance as a deaf character received some awards; nevertheless her role is not a convincing portrayal of a Deaf person. There are sign language conversations between Ting and Chu Sai Cheung (Power Chan) in some scenes. Most of the signed dialogues were taken from either three-quarter front or profile angle and in either close-up or extreme close-up shots. The camera has never paid any attention to all articulators in the whole signing area. In other words, the space which a sign take place is not clearly showed. The audiences would notice the movement of the arms without seeing a clear handshape. To the outsiders of the Deaf community, it seems that TVB is advancing equality by creating characters about the minority groups. The minorities in these dramas are merely gimmicks.

So, what is Deaf Cinema (media)?

Deaf Cinema is not a unifying concept. It is non-static and ever transforming. It means different things to different people across different times in different places. We might understand what Deaf Cinema means through the programming of Deaf Film Festivals worldwide as well as the representation of the D/deaf and hard-of-hearing (HH) people in the media.

Different Deaf Film Festival screens different types of D/deaf films. The Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival shows films made by the Deaf and Deaf-friendly Hearing allies on Deaf History, Deaf Culture and Deaf activism (e.g. Dictation, Confession & Silent Odyssey), films made by the Deaf in sign language which are not about Deaf issues but marks the creativity of Deaf people (e.g. Mystery Moor), films made by the Deaf in spoken language which do not discuss Deaf issues but marks the creativity of Deaf people (e.g. Marianne Matters) and controversial “deaf” films with extensive use of spoken language made by seemingly bilingual/ oral deaf/ HH with cochlear implants/ hearing aids (e.g. Shadow Stalker Part 1). Deaffest (UK) shows films made by the Deaf, which might or might not discuss Deaf issues, as well as fully captioned popular Disney animations. The Toronto International Deaf Film and Art Festival does not only show films portraying Deaf issues: it premiered the award-winning documentary Marianne Matters made by a Deaf which discusses schizophrenia. Organized solely by the Deaf, the Stockholm Deaf Film Festival (Dövfilmfestival) shows films mainly made by the Deaf and avoids signing song videos. In the 13th Dövfilmfestival, it interestingly showed a Swedish film made by the Deaf on the life of a celebrity puppy, which is not related to Deaf issues. It seems that the Deaf Film Festivals show different types of Deaf films and do not agree on a singular mode of Deaf Cinema. As the curators of Dövfilmfestival, Gunilla Wågström Lundqvist and Ylva Björklund, said, Deaf Film Festivals should attempt to reinforce Deafhood as the ultimate goal.

To understand what we could call as Deaf Cinema, we need to distinguish between the two notions of D/deaf identities, “Deafhood” and “deafness”, in relation to the idea of DEAF CINEMA.

We can regard some films concerning the positive portrayals of the Deaf people and sign language as “Cinema of Deafhood”. Embracing sign languages as the vehicle for constructing Deaf Culture, British Deaf Sociologist Paddy Ladd coined the term “Deafhood” as the non-pathological understanding of Deaf people. Being Deaf is not considered as an illness. Being Deaf is just about being someone in a group who share sign language as a common language and someone who is proud of the Deaf identity. After investigating how nomadic tribes and Pacific island tribes use radio in preserving oral tradition for building up tribal consciousness, Flemish Deaf sign language media activist Sven Noben urges for the necessity of sign language media. He thinks that the Deaf community has to establish a “signing” tradition of a positive Deaf community via the implementation of sign language visual media platforms (e.g. TV). Chen Li-Yu, Deaf producer of Public Television Service in Taiwan, considers that sign-language is important to the fabrication of Deafhood. However, considering the aesthetics of editing and the incongruence of sign languages used in northern and southern Taiwan, Chen thought that closed captioning/ subtitling might be an aesthetic and practical solution to ease off communication breakdowns in producing and distributing Deaf media. “Cinema of Deafhood” could be concluded as: (1) any film or video with sign language produced/ directed/ acted by the Deaf and/or Hard-of-hearing people, and (2) any film or video promoting Deafhood and investigating Deaf issues (e.g. Audism, Surdophobia, Oralism, Manualism, Sign Bilingualism, Sign Languages, Sign Interpretation, the adverse impact of cochlear implant and hearing aids to Deaf Culture and History, Deaf Children of Hearing Parents and CODA). Generally, most films showed in Deaf Film Festivals comply with Cinema of Deafhood.

On the contrary, “Cinema of deafness” could be understood as films that condemns deaf people as disabled people; reinforces Audism, Surdophobia and Oralism; disapproves the use of sign languages and encourages the use of cochlear implant and hearing aids. In other words, “Cinema of deafness” asserts being deaf as an illness/ impairment and hearing loss as bodily imperfection. Sometimes “Cinema of deafness” creates an illusion that the society accepts Deaf people. Sympathizing deaf people as disabled people is the illusion of acceptance. Instead, empathizing Deaf people as diversely-able people is an act of recognizing Deafhood.

“Cinema of Deafhood” and “Cinema of deafness” appears as mutual exclusive concepts. It might not be the real case. It seems that Deaf Films Festivals should consolidate Deafhood. Yet there are some occasions when the curators have difficulties in programming Deaf Film Festivals. There is the possibility of D/deaf & HH people who made films following “Cinema of deafness”. There is also the occasion when a Deaf Film Festival shows a mainstream commercial “deafness” film from abroad. Owing to the long history of Audist and Oralist deaf education, many deaf/ HH people are not educated in sign language. A recent Deaf education conference in Vancouver praises the importance of sign language to Deaf people. Due to this, Deaf schools re-introduce sign languages as medium of instruction. It resembles a process of decolonization of Audism and Oralism derived from the ban of sign language in the 1880 Milan Conference. However, the long battle between Oralism and Manualism has divided the Deaf community. In some countries like the US where Deaf people could be educated in sign language schools, some Deaf people born in Deaf families thought that they are superior to the Deaf people born in Hearing families. American Deaf writer Matthew Moore called the Deaf people who think that they are superior as “strong-Deaf” and the phenomenon of snobbery as Deaf elitism. Obviously some Deaf people mistakenly transformed the triumph of Manualism to Deaf elitism. (See: http://www.deafculture.com/commentary/) The film Confession illustrates a good example of the battle between Oralism and Manualism and the suffering of the Deaf community due to Audism. We could notice the predicament the character Mabel Gardiner Hubbard (the wife of modern telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell) is facing. Mabel was deafened in childhood and hereafter trained orally. In the film, the profound Deaf children were taught orally and asked to set Mabel as role model; while Mabel felt sorry for the misery of forcing the Deaf children to speak instead of signing. Later oral deaf Mabel confronted with her Audist husband’s cruel opposition of a signing Deaf couple in the church. Owing to the fact that not all Deaf people are taught with sign language, it is inevitable for some deaf/ HH to internalize Oralism. Besides, Deaf Cultural History is not taught in Deaf schools. Hence some D/deaf people are not aware of the difference between Deafhood and deafness. It was a tough decision to include controversial films like Shadow Stalker Part 1, or films alike, which made by D/deaf/ HH with spoken language, alongside “Cinema of Deafhood”. When I discussed with the Deaf committee members why they wanted to show Shadow Stalker Part 1, they said they do not know why. One possible reason is that the genre is thriller, which is a rarity in Deaf Cinema. So I was trying hard to think of a rationale to show it. Does a film of this kind belong to either “Cinema of Deafhood” or “Cinema of deafness”? Is there any chance for an oral deaf/ HH students to show their films outside Deaf Film Festivals? Although it seems that Shadow Stalker Part 1 is reinforcing deafness by its extensive use of spoken dialogues and neglect of sign language, it is the first film of an oral deaf/ HH student. Although this kind of controversial films does not reflect Deafhood at all, the screening of it is a gesture to embrace cultural diversity within the Deaf community in the broader sense. Deaf elitism is not a manifestation of Deafhood. In the decolonization process after the Vancouver conference, Cinema of Deafhood should be used as an inclusive notion and create a space for understanding the aftermath of the Milan Conference. Deaf Film Festivals should prioritize sign language media, though.

Deaf Film Festivals are sprouting all over the world. Excluding the Deaf Way conference film screenings, the pioneering Deaf Film Festivals occurred in Chicago and then Stockholm thirteen years ago. The Stockholm Deaf Film Festival is the oldest Deaf Film Festival which is still operating. The first South American Deaf Film Festival inaugurated in Ecuador in 2012. At the 13th Stockholm Deaf Film Festival, I learnt that the Deaf Portuguese community is preparing to organize a Deaf Film Festival in Lisbon. Deaf friends from Hong Kong and overseas countries, we shall follow the spirit of The Third Hong Kong International Deaf Film Festival: DEAFINING CULTURAL DIVERSITY, BECOMING DEAF MEDIA TALENT.