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Why lip-reading is like ‘putting together a puzzle without all the pieces’

According to the US writer, Rhodes Scholar and disability advocate Rachel Kolb, who was born with bilateral hearing loss, the word ‘lip-reading’ is a misnomer. It’s a means of communication replete with challenges, including but not limited to mumbling, accents, hairy faces and unusually shaped mouths. Even under the most ideal circumstances, with a clear view of someone’s lips in a one-on-one conversation, it can feel like ‘putting together a puzzle without all the pieces’. Based on Kolb’s essay ‘Seeing at the Speed of Sound’ (2013), this inventive short film from the US director David Terry Fine captures the precarious business of trying ‘to grasp, with one sense, information intended for another’.

Director: David Terry Fine

Producer: Jeremy Summer

20 February 2018

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