The first time I saw Children of a Lesser God was in a large theater. I expected it to be just another blockbuster and as it started my expectation was to be entertained for 2 hours and then I would go home. In a very short time my senses were overwhelmed and I realized there was a whole world that I knew almost nothing about (the deaf world). It was amazing to see scenes unfold and a story told through facial expressions and music. The use of music to conjure up emotions and advance a story was a new phenomenon for me.
I realized that words are not the most important means for communication but rather body language and facial expressions “say” as much, if not more, than words. This one movie singularly changed the way I see and experience the world. The sounds of birds are not background noise but a conversation in a different language. Music isn’t just something you hear when you turn the radio on but it is the basis for all experiences and emotions. Deaf people “feel” the bass line of a song and can experience music without hearing a single note. Sign language is a language without sound and deaf people use it and facial expressions and body language to communicate.
This movie changed the way I experience music and sound (even as I write this the music behind the words/scenes on the TV show playing tells me when to look up and alert me to something that is about to happen). It introduced sign language as a language like English or Spanish. It greatly increased my awareness of facial expressions and body language as a “language.”