The sound of sirens blaring, a young boy is rushed into the hospital, then there is silence. The muffled sound of a doctor’s voice tells the boy’s parents he has lost 80 percent of the hearing in both of his ears.
This is Arthur’s story. It is not a true story, but a film titled “Found on South Street” made by California Baptist University students.
“Found on South Street” reveals Arthur’s journey through life as a deaf individual trying to discover his identity. His intelligence leads him to create a technology for the deaf community enabling the user to understand what is going on aroung him and speak clearly without additional training. However, his invention causes controversy and creates struggles for him throughout his life.
The film depicts the merging of the hearing and deaf worlds, including both deaf and hearing cast members.
Jackson Brown, junior liberal studies major, plays the role of Brian, Arthur’s close friend who is also deaf. Brown is also deaf in reality.
“The goal of the film is to raise awareness of the challenges that a deaf person has to experience and how they work around it,” Brown said. “This film is attempting to show the struggle of identity.”
Brown said both hearing people and deaf people can relate to the film because the struggle of identity is one that every person deals with. By having deaf actors as well as hearing actors, the filmmakers ensure that the deaf community is correctly and appropriately represented.
It is an opportunity to glorify God through the talents of the cast and crew and brings awareness to a culture many know little about.
Austin Cary, junior liberal studies major, is also in the film and plays the main character, Arthur. He has never acted before but said he has had an exciting experience in the filmmaking process thus far.
Being deaf himself, Cary has lived in both worlds and the film has special meaning for him.
“Since I grew up in the hearing world I am hoping to use this film to allow me to connect easier with the deaf community,” Cary said.
Whether a person is deaf or hearing, the film relates to the human struggle of finding purpose, and it can help to bring an understanding and merging of two worlds.
The team has been working on the film for over a year and “Found on South Street” is expected to be finished by May of 2014. They plan to release it in theaters soon after.