Children of a Lesser God is a movie directed by Randa Heines and produced by Burt Sugarman and Patrick Palmer 1986. The movie was based on a stage play titled Children of a Lesser God a play that was written by mark. The screen play was written by Mark Medoff and Hesper Anderson. The movie is a romantic drama film. The movie is about a teacher who finds a job in a school for the deaf and fortunately he falls in love with one of the students.
James Leeds and Sarah Norman are the main characters. Sarah Norman is the character with a disability; she is deaf (Anderson & Medoff, 1986). Despite being deaf Sarah could easily interact with other students as well as workers in the school. James takes her to play poker and she does it so well that she is applauded. "You're really doing great” (Anderson & Medoff, 1986). She is also extremely bright. She makes her own decisions without being influenced. For instance, she decided to stay in the school, in the confines of her world of silence, and remain with her own people since it is safer than facing the world which she perceived to be cruel, egoistic and insensible. Though she was in love with James, she outwardly appears to be hardly interested and would only communicate with him through signing although she could read lips and even speak a little. Moreover, many people had tried to form a romantic relationship with her but she declined as they wanted her to speak their language. She refuses speaking their language and even persuades whoever was interested in her to learn her language. She successfully resists James attempt to make her speak his language. This clearly illustrates that Sarah could make firm decisions and stand by them (Bull & Farrell, 2012).
Sarah Norman, the deaf beautiful lady, is the protagonist in the movie. She influences the flow of activities by fighting and condemning any wrong ideas advocated by the other characters. The dominant dialectic experienced by James and Sarah is the flaw of wanting both autonomy and connection. Sarah is worried that a relationship with James will cause her to lose her individuality (Anderson & Medoff, 1986). Consequently, she carefully guards her heart and autonomy. On the other hand, James strongly desires that Sarah open up to him and enter his world. (Anderson & Medoff, 1986) It is for this ideological difference that the movie gets interesting and flows through to the end. Sarah made other characters to understand that disability is not inability. She mobbed the school floor to earn her living rather than begging from the able-bodied people. She also made people to understand that inability does not make one a less human being and that even the disabled should be given a chance to make decisions that the able-bodied need to respect (Winkler et all, 2010) . James leant how to live with Sarah without necessarily merging her world with his. He learnt to compromise her and live with her the way she was. Sarah, through her actions, made her mother believe that even the disabled could still be loved and heard.
The message of the film is that the deaf have feelings and rights just like any other human being. Sarah took James to a party in which most of the friends were deaf and communication was majorly through sign language (Anderson & Medoff, 1986). The party was interesting just like any other and this really amazed James who had lost interest in the party. Sarah, a deaf girl, was so beautiful and fell in love with James, and in her own ways found ways of expressing her feelings towards James (Anderson & Medoff, 1986). This is unerringly what any other girl would have done. Sarah obtained a job in the school. She mobbed the floor and raised her own income which she used to support her life. Deaf people are associated with many misconceptions such as they cannot love, read or work. Deaf people are discriminated against and there is so much mystery surrounding their condition (Fleischer, 2001). Deafness strikes the very roots of communication. However, the society should learn sign language so that communicating with the deaf becomes no more a challenge since sign language is a true language with its own beauty like any other (Corker, 1998). Many Americans perceive deaf people with a lot of disapproval and strict rules should be put in place to curb this culture (Simmons, 2010). However, there are many acts that guards against discrimination but are not adequately enforced by authorities (Murray, 1990).
Sarah is integral in passing the message as she sternly stands for the rights of the deaf and against any idea that might lower the dignity of deaf people. Though deaf, Sarah fell in love with James and even went ahead to have sex with him (Anderson & Medoff, 1986). Sarah was able to obtain a job just like any other person and was against James idea that speech is necessary for one to make it in this world. The disability character may also symbolize racial discrimination that black people face due to their skin color. The whites perceive the blacks to be less human and believe that the blacks should be subjective to the white (Fishbein, 1996).
Anderson, H., & Medoff, M. H. (1986). Children of a lesser god: Screenplay.
Bull, S., & O'Farrell, K. (2012). Art therapy and learning disabilities: "don't guess my happiness". Hove, East Sussex: Routledge.
Children of a Lesser God. (n.d.). Retrieved October 4, 2013, from http://www.oup.com/us/companion.websites/9780195309928/instructorresources/filmstorage/children/
Convertino, M., Walker, S., & Boardman, C. (1986). Children of a lesser god: Original motion picture soundtrack. Hollywood, CA: GNP Crescendo.
Corker, M. (1998). Deaf and disabled, or deafness disabled?: Towards a human rights perspective. Buckingham: Open University Press.
Fishbein, H. D. (1996). Peer prejudice and discrimination: Evolutionary, cultural, and developmental dynamics. Boulder, Colo: Westview Press.
Fleischer, D. Z., & Zames, F. (2001). The disability rights movement: From charity to confrontation. Philadelphia: Temple University Press.
Murray, C. J. (1990). Alternative projections of mortality and disability by cause 1990-2020: Global Burden of Disease Study.
Simmons, S. M. (2010). Dealing with a diability. United States: Xlibris Corporation.
Winkler, T., Cheshire, B., Harley, I., McRobert, T., ABC News, & ABC-TV (Australia) (2010). Children of a lesser God. Australia: ABC News.