Through Ellen ears

Saskia Gubbels

Eleven-year-old Ellen is deaf, just like her parents and most of her family, and only communicates through sign language. She's in the final year of primary school and has to choose which high school she will attend. An important choice, since Ellen is not only making the transition to a more adult world, but perhaps also to a hearing world. She doesn't like the idea of going to a boarding school for deaf children; she'd much rather attend a school for the hard of hearing with her friend Myrthe. The two girls are inseparable and even wear matching outfits. Her father has some reservations about Ellen's choice, but when it comes right down to it, the deaf girl knows what she wants. "I know the deaf world," she says determinedly. "I want to learn to speak for the future." Still, there is a big difference between the two worlds, as Ellen finds out when she has to place an order in a fast food restaurant, and as her hearing grandfather emphasizes on Skype. Hearing viewers feels it too, as the film brings them into the deaf world, where communication works differently and the senses need to be used in unusual ways.


Saskia Gubbels
Netherlands, The
Documentary, Short
17 minutes
children and youth, education & schools