SYNOPSIS

Deaf Child is a coming of age film by Alex de Ronde in which he portrays the life of his son, a charismatic young man who happens to be deaf. The film follows Tobias from the cradle to the present day through archive material and other personal footage.

Tobias lives in two worlds: one in need, the other as a fish in the water. Archive footage shows how the little Tobias learned how to talk a little through endless speech therapy sessions, but also him having the time of his life in a Swiss cable car or in Disneyland Paris – all getting by without speech.

At present, a visit to the dentist is still quite a chore in communication, but when he strolls the grounds of Gallaudet University in Washington D.C. – the only deaf university in the world – he exudes confidence and vitality. There, he is a regular person. He connects the two worlds as a teacher of Dutch sign language to non – deaf students,, introducing them to its culture. His lust for life is infectious and he has no self-pity and expects no sympathy from anyone.

The director’s approach is also twofold; as an understanding observer and as a critical loving father. He questions Tobias about his life; about the past, what he remembers of his deceased mother, about the present and the role he and his brother Joachim play in his life.

Deaf Child is about a family who in the face of adversity retain a deep respect for each other and care for each other’s wellbeing. The three men display a bond that is touching.

As a father, Alex examines his choices in raising a deaf child. Were they right ones? Is his world not too limited? Should he have tried cochlear implants with which Tobias might have partial hearing? Has he overburdened Joachim too much with his brother’s handicap? And ultimately, was he a good father? The film makes abundantly clear that Tobias is a vivacious, charming young man who refuses to let his disability hinder him. He embraces his future, culture and language wearing his deafness as a badge of honour. It seems he has made his choice. In the end as Alex de Ronde puts it, “it is a film about love”.

Produced by Pieter van Huystee film & TV 
Running time: 72 minutes 

SCREENINGS

INDUSTRY & PRESS SCREENING
THURS. 16 NOVEMBER
11:00 - 12:13
TUSCHINSKI 3

THURS. 16 NOVEMBER
20:00 - 21:30
EYE CINEMA 1
SOLD OUT

TUES. 21 NOVEMBER
11:30 - 13:00
TUSCHINSKI 4

TUES. 23 NOVEMBER
18:30 - 20:00
MUNT 10

SUN. 26 NOVEMBER
16:30 - 18:00
KETELHUIS ROOM 1

CREDITS

Producer
Pieter van Huystee Film

With the support of
Netherlands 
Film Fund

Genre
Documentary

Land of origin
Netherlands

Director
Alex de Ronde

Editor
Chris van Oers

Production
Pieter van Huijstee

Line Production
Zoe de Wilde

Lotte Gerding
Natasja Möhrs

Camera
Deen van der Zaken
Remco Bikkers
Alex de Ronde
Pieter Colombijn 

Sound
Charles Kerstens
Alex de Ronde
Bon Aronds 

Sound Design
Mark Glynne 

Commissioning editor
Jelle Peter de Ruiter (KRO – NCRV)

Première
International Documentary
Film festival Amsterdam
November 16, 2017

CONTACT

Production
Pieter van Huystee Film
Pieter van Huijstee
Donker Curtiusstraat 125
Amsterdam
t. 0031 (0)20 421 06 06
pieterdoc@gmail.com
pvhfilm.nl

Sales
NPO sales

Mireille.van.der.laan@npo.nl

Publicity
(images, stills and screeners)
Public Film 
Rudolf Kats 
t. 0031 (0)20 421 06 06
rudolf@publicfilm.nl

 

 

 

 

© Pieter van Huystee Film 2017

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In 1995 Pieter van Huystee started his own production company. Since then he has produced many film projects and international coproductions, most of them documentaries with renowned Dutch filmmakers such as Johan van der Keuken, Heddy Honigmann, Renzo Martens, Leonard Retel Helmrich, Boris Gerrets, Renzo Martens and young talented directors. Many of the documentaries and features are screened at festivals all over the world and have been awarded many times.