Review: ‘Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements’ is an ode to sound and silence.

MOONLIGHT SONATA

DEAFNESS IN THREE MOVEMENTS

A Film by Irene Taylor Brodsky

 

Moonlight Sonata is a deeply personal memoir about a deaf boy growing up, his deaf grandfather growing old, and Ludwig van Beethoven the year he was blindsided by deafness and wrote his iconic sonata.
Their lives weave a story about what we discover when we push beyond loss.

Jonas inherited his deafness from his maternal grandmother and grandfather. We learn so much from watching him communicate with and without his cochlear implants. We learn by watching the interaction between him and his grandparents. Genetics determined that Jonas and his grandparents had a tiny “typo” in a specific gene causing them to be deaf. Music became another way to communicate and bridge the generational gap. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata was Jonas’ personal challenge he set for himself. His goal was to study for 7 months in order to perform it in a recital. The history of Beethoven’s own deafness weaved into this doc is stunning on every level. While rehearsing, Jonas’ music teacher explains the emotional impact of the piece not only to him but the audience. Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements is an ode to sound and silence.

Utilizing home movies, truly immersive sound editing, sit-down interviews, and lush animation to express how deafness affects the world, Moonlight Sonata moves an audience. Jonas’ grandfather puts it’s so frankly, “You can’t understand the world through your ears.” The challenges are unfathomable for those of us who can hear in a typical fashion. Determination, pride, frustration, discipline, acceptance, and evolution all guide this film towards an emotionally high close. You feel the music and the joy. Be sure to watch through the credits to experience the full effect. Filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky has given us a true gift.

Opening in NY on September 13 at Landmark 57 and in Los Angeles on September 20 at Laemmle Royal

Directed by: Irene Taylor Brodsky
(Academy Award-nominee®, Peabody Award-winner®, Hear and Now, Beware the Slenderman)
Produced by: Irene Taylor Brodsky & Tahria Sheather

About Liz Whittemore

Liz grew up in northern Connecticut and was memorizing movie dialogue from Shirley Temple to A Nightmare on Elm Street at a very early age. She will watch just about any film all the way through (no matter how bad) just to prove a point. A loyal New Englander, a lover of Hollywood, and true inhabitant of The Big Apple.