Amazon’s Sound of Metal tells the fascinating story of Ruben (Riz Ahmed), a drummer in a punk-metal band who suddenly loses his hearing, and with it, his identity. The film hits close to home for one of the stars, Paul Raci, who grew up with deaf parents. In an interview with CinemaBlend, Raci opened up about deaf representation and the oppression of deaf people.
Paul Raci’s character Joe leads a deaf community in Sound of Metal that becomes a large part of Ruben’s journey as he adjusts to his new life. Having first hand experience with the deaf community, Raci was the perfect choice for this role. He was able to bring an authenticity to the story that adds to the film’s overall excellence. Here’s what he told CinemaBlend when asked about Sound of Metal’s message:
What a beautiful theme - to reframe the way a disability is approached, and redefine ‘disability’ altogether. There are so many stories out there to tell, and when tackling a subject that calls attention to a specific group of people, it’s best to have someone personally attached to said group be a part of the project. Some film treatments of disabilities have not been well received, and although backlash of some kind is to be expected with any creative project, it’s beautiful to see the amount of care that went into an accurate portrayal of the deaf community in Sound of Metal.
It’s natural for many to try to fix something they view as broken, but as Paul Raci said, there’s nothing to fix here. Sound of Metal incorporates various cinematic elements to allow the audience to experience much of what Ruben goes through right along with him. This gives viewers a chance to connect with the main character in a unique way and perhaps shift their perspective.
Sound of Metal began its limited theatrical run on November 20th and will be available streaming on Amazon Prime December 4th.
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Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.