The End

27 January 2014

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Science fiction comes in many forms and The End is different in a number of ways, not least because of its gentle pace, understated narrative and lack of hi-tech gadgets. And I like fast paced sci-fi full of thingamajigs that do cool things.  Yet that notwithstanding, I found this film, written and directed by Ted Evans (no relation) one of the most touching and thought-provoking shorts I have seen for a while.

The film starts in the past and ends over thirty years from now.  It charts the lives of four young people from 1987 – 2046.  They are different: not telepathic mutants or alien fifth columnists, however.  They are deaf.  The End envisages a cure for deafness and then follows the consequences of such on the lives of the protagonists and, indeed, on deaf culture.

Created in a documentary manner (very similar to those you see which visit their subjects once every decade or so) the four children grow to adulthood and their decision whether or not to take The Treatment has a profound effect on their lives.  The End raises questions not only about the nature of disability but our compassion as a species and our willingness to cleanse what frightens or disturbs us.

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