GenreDocumentary Initial DVD releaseJanuary 2, 2002 CountryUnited States
Release date2000 Initial releaseOctober 25, 2000 (Los Angeles) CastNita Artinian, Mari Artinian, Jaime Leigh Allen, Karl Katz Similar moviesIn the Land of the Deaf (1992)
TaglineIf you could make your deaf children hear, would you do it?
Sound and Fury is a documentary film released in 2000 about two American families with young deaf children and their conflict over whether or not to give their children cochlear implants, surgically implanted devices that may improve their ability to hear but may threaten their Deaf identity. The film was nominated for several awards, including an Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature.
The film follows the Artinian extended family with deafness through three generations over a year and a half, focusing on two brothers — Peter Artinian who is deaf and Chris Artinian, who has proficient hearing — and their wives and children. Chris and Mari Artinian (who is a Child of Deaf Adult) discover that one of their newborn twins is deaf. They begin to research the cochlear implant and its advantages and disadvantages. Concurrently Heather, Peter and Nita's oldest child, starts asking for an implant as well. The brothers, along with grandparents on both sides, become embroiled in a bitter argument over the importance of deafness, the best form of education for their children and the controversy of cochlear implants for young children. Peter and his wife Nita fear losing a child to the "hearing world" and her potential abandonment of "deaf culture". They were pleased with Maryland and decided to move there and forget the implant. Chris and Mari chose to have cochlear implant surgery performed on their infant, Peter.
In the follow-up documentary Sound and Fury: 6 Years later, In the video she is twelve years old, but today she is in her twenty's, and she, her 2 deaf siblings, her mother and members of her extended deaf family have all opted for the implant device. The article summarizing the documentary's events describes her as having clear speech, living in a 'mainstreamed' world, interacting with hearing people, and earning high grades in school. Heather is depicted as moving between the hearing and deaf worlds comfortably, and embracing deaf culture as well as having friends who are hearing.
In 2013, Heather did a TEDx Talk describing herself as a bridge between the hearing and deaf worlds: The Heather World: TEDx Talk