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Sound of Metal, dir. Darius Marder

Kaitlin_Lara's picture

Audiologist: Well, there are implants that bypass the cochlea. 

Ruben: You said implants?

Audiologist: Yes.

Ruben: Those work?

Audiologist: For people with severe hearing loss or complete deafness, yes they help. 

Ruben: Well, then let’s do that. 

Audiologist: Well, it's not that simple. Uh, it's a very involved process, and it's quite costly. 

Ruben How much is it? 

Audiologist: Well, they can run between $40,000 and $80,000 depending, and they are not covered by insurance. 

00:16:59- 00:17:24


This part struck me because it was devastating to learn that there was a solution to his hearing loss but it was expensive but it was not covered by insurance. Throughout the film it shows Ruben's main goal is to get the implant so it leads him to sell his RV (which is his home) and his music electronics. It was interesting when Ruben was committed to a halfway home for the deaf because it was a place for him to deal with his addiction (during the difficult time) as well as learn how to manage and adapt to his deafness. It was beautiful to see the shift from his denial to acceptance. He began to learn how to sign and hear music in a different way. He was able to feel the vibration and teach young deaf musicians.

However, it was devastating when Ruben got the implant because he did so in secret. As a result, Joe (his mentor) had to ask Ruben to move out of the house. Joe said that everyone in the home and community shared the belief that being deaf is not a handicap and not something to fix. In retrospect, Ruben viewed his deafness. He believed the implant was his miracle and he would be able to hear again. 

As viewers, we went through the emotional rollercoaster that Ruben experienced. We believed the implant would have been a possible outcome and he would have been able to live his life as he did before he became deaf. Yet, the reality was that he would not be able to hear anything like what he remembered. It sounds distorted and it does not sound like anything his brain (our brain) is accustomed to. Therefore, the noise could become overwhelming as I experienced from watching the film. Overall, I really enjoyed the film.