Through Deaf Eyes presents the experiences of American history from the viewpoint of deaf citizens, offering an opportunity to learn about the nation's broader history. The Deaf community portrayed in the video offers both deaf and hearing viewers a unique and fascinating perspective on the value of human difference.
The film shows the impact the values and judgments of society have had on the education, employment, and family life of deaf people, while historical eras can often be illuminated by examination through a Deaf lens. Interviews with actor Marlee Matlin, I. King Jordan, and other community leaders, historians, and deaf Americans with diverse views on language use, technology and identity. See the photographs, quotes and stories from the Smithsonian Institution photographic exhibit, History Through Deaf Eyes, in Through Deaf Eyes: A Photographic History of an American Community, a book of stunning beauty and poignant images. [(2007) DVD: 120 minutes; closed captioned; Region 1 disk] DVDs not returnable once opened.
- Scene selection
- Short films by Deaf filmmakers: 1) Vital Signs by Wayne Betts, Jr.; 2) Listen (excerpt) by Kimby Caplan; 3) Destination Eyeth by Arthur Luhn; 4) Equilibrium by Adrean Mangiardi; 5) That's My Marshmallow by Tracey Salaway; 6) Audism by Rene Visco
- The making of Through Deaf Eyes featurette
- Interview with director Larry Hott
- Interviews with Marlee Matlin, I. King Jordan, and other community leaders, historians and deaf Americans
- Historic films: 1) Preservation of the Sign Language; 2) Deaf Mute Girl Reciting the "Star Spangled Banner"; 3) The Reverend Fletcher Dixie Home for the Deaf; 4) Excerpt from Beyond Silence
- Six artistic works by Deaf media artists are woven throughout the documentary complement the core of the film