2007 SUNDANCE DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION! Sixty-five year olds Paul and Sally Taylor have been deaf since birth and they wish to hear even the slightest of sound. “Hear and Now” is the story of these two parents who have decided to get implants into their ear canals so they will finally be able to hear. This is truly an intimate portrait into the lives of a remarkable couple as they struggle to get, and ultimately cope with, this life-changing surgery.
The film was directed and written by Irene Taylor Brodsky, daughter of Paul and Sally. To her credit, Brodsky has crafted a film that not once paints her parents in pity, or overzealous sympathy, and it helps that both Paul and Sally are two amazing people to watch, with Paul winning “most entertaining.” It was easy to become attached to these two people so quickly, which makes what comes later in the film quite difficult.
They get cleared for the surgery and the film makes sure it shows you the entire filmed procedure. Due to the personal connection the audience has ith its subjects, it is extremely uncomfortable to watch, with the most moving part coming as Sally cries after the shock of the surgery. The rest of the movie then becomes extremely sad, as their hearing returns, but at different speeds, with Paul’s hearing progressing faster than Sally’s.
Overall, after the film ended I felt quite blessed, because I was lucky enough to be given all of my senses. But I couldn’t help feel a bit like I take so much for granted because these people had to do so much to get something that I was just given.
This film is one worth finding when you can. It has to be one of the most personable documentaries I have ever seen and my only qualm is that I wish that there were some way to find out how they have progressed since the surgery.