Directed by Cody Broadway
Starring John Moore Jr, Chris Hamilton, Jack Scarboro, Megan Scarboro
Short Film Review by Rachel Pullen
Sometimes in life you think to yourself, or at least I do, “Would you rather go deaf or blind?”, and I have always chosen going deaf, mainly because I can speak a good amount of sign language but because sight is so fundamental to our survival as human beings.
Sure I think about the things I would miss, like making and hearing music, the dramatic of sound in films, hearing those noises that just please the mind and I always assumed team sports would join that list...boy was I wrong.
4 Quarters of Silence follows American high school football team the Rangers from the Texas school for the deaf as they compete against a string of all hearing football teams from around the country. Before we talk about the matter of a deaf football team, it goes without saying that this documentary, although only a short piece, is slick and clean, with excellent production quality, lighting, cinematography and composition, nothing has been overlooked in making this short feel like a big budget production.
Director Cody Broadway makes a smart choice in cutting all background sound from scenes where the deaf students or their family members are being interviewed, we feel connected, immersed in a world of silence we can easily get a taste of what their world must be like.
As an audience we are taken into the locker room, where the team's coach John Moore Jr, who is also deaf, explains detailed plays, rich in important choreography to a captive team.
We see how they communicate on the field, how the changes during game time are signalled by a huge bass drum being beaten with a baseball bat, sending vibrations across the pitch to each team player, we feel, for just a moment part of the Rangers.
This is a fascinating and joyful documentary, not only showing the ins and outs of how the team work but how they have not succumbed to the feeling that they as a team, as a deaf person cannot achieve the same as a hearing person, and they are fully aware that no one wants to be beaten by the deaf team, and they simply tackle that by playing the best that they can.
With passionate speeches from the coach and moving interviews from the team players, 4 Quarters of Silence covers all the questions you may have had about deaf team sports into a short bite sized piece.