Sunday, February 16, 1997

Herzog's Land of Silence and Darkeness & Hamilton's These Hearing Aids Whistle

San Francisco Art Institute

Herzog’s 1971 Land of Silence and Darkness takes us into the extraordinary world of the deaf-blind and is possibly the most mystical of the documentaries made by a director famous for his voyages into the agonies and ecstasies that usually bypass the lives of ordinary people. Focusing on the 56 year old Fini Straubinger who lost her sight and hearing as a teenager and who, after a 3 decade long depression, travels throughout Germany as a consultant and educator for those like her, the film transports us towards an existence so intense and abstract that conventional description becomes irrelevant. Herzog’s work will be preceded by local maker M. Kahn Hamilton’s These Hearing Aids Whistle, a moving account of his experience of being diagnosed deaf at age 6 and of living in both the world of the hearing and the hearing-impaired. (Programmed by Irina Leimbacher)