...And Your Name Is Jonah (1979) - full transcript

A couple whose son had been diagnosed as intellectually disabled, and was institutionalized, are shocked to discover that the diagnosis was wrong, and that their son is deaf, not intellectually disabled.

...and your name is Jonah

'morning, kiddos.

Ralph, wake up!

Hi, Timmy.
Rise and shine.

Breakfast time.

Come on, boy.
Atta boy.

Got to get you up.
Breakfast time.

How you doing today?

There you are.

- How's that?
- Fine. - Good.

There you are.
How's that? Good.



Jonah.
Get up, Jonah.

Going to sleep all day?

Got to get you fed and ready.
You got a big day today, you know.

Here's your breakfast.

- Come on, Danny, you have to walk so
slow?
- Hey, where's the fire, here?

- He said 8 o'clock.
- Well, it's 8 o'clock.

- We're not there, yet.
- We're here, this is it, this is the
hospital.

- Come on, you promise not to run, I'll
hold your hand.
- Oh, terrific...

Jonah.
Come back here and get dressed.

Jonah?

Jonah.

Jonah?

I'm going to get you.
Jonah, come back here I said!

Jonah.



- He's been here, what, two years?
- Three.

- Three years and four months.
- Umm.

Well, are there any more questions I can
answer?

No.

- Mrs. Corelli?
- I just find it hard to understand,
that's all.

How does it happen that a little boy gets
sent here and nobody knows what's wrong
with him?

- I thought we went over this on the
phone, Mrs. Corelli.
- You went over it, and I just listened,

and I still don't understand.

- Jenny, come on, will you please?
- Come on, Danny, he's supposed to be a
doctor.

Doctors make mistakes, Mrs. Corelli. It
was your own family doctor who diagnosed
him as retarded.

Well, that's some mistake, is all I can
say. 3 years is a pretty big mistake.

- Come on, Jenny, don't get all mushy
here, will ya?
- I can't help it!

- Hey, you were really hittin' on him.
- Who?
- That uh, doctor, whatever his name was.

You really had him by the pant cuffs. I
thought you were going to chew his leg
off.

- Come on, Danny, I was not.
- You were, too, I'm telling you, you
were making me nervous.

Well, he's a doctor, he's supposed to
know what he's doing. Right, Jonah?

- Think he'll ever forgive us?
- Who, that guy?

- No, not Dr. Tibbs, Jonah.
- Jenny, what are you doing?

It's not your fault, I told
you that a hundred times.

- Well, it sure feels like it.
- Come on, quit acting goofy.

- Are you glad?
- Yeah.

- Are you? Really?
- Yeah, what do you think?

I don't know. What do you think?
Huh, Jonah, What do you think?

Hey, watch this car, huh?

You remember this house?
It's been a long time.

Come on, Danny!

This is your house, Jonah.
Look!

- How you doing?
- I don't think he remembers, Danny.

SURPRISE!
Hello, Jonah!

Jonah, come here!
Let me look at you!

You remember your grandma?
You remember me? - Come on!

- Hey, mi banbino!
- He's a big boy!

Come here.
Come and say hi to your brother, Anthony.

Can you say hi to your brother?

- Can you say hi to your brother, Jonah?
- Hi!

Come on, Jonah. Come on, mom, let me
introduce Jonah to the kids.

- Now, uh, remember your Uncle Larry? And
this is Cousin Richard and Robbie, - Hi.

and this is Lisa, whom you haven't met,
yet.

Now your cousin Richard you know, just
got on the football team, I don't know if
your mother told...

...bicycle, Jonah!
And I know that he would love to take you
out...

- Jonah?...
- ...good like him.

Danny...

...and I don't know if you remember, but
your cousin Richard and Robbie visited
you in the hospital...

Ann? Ann, Ann... The kid's deaf, he
doesn't understand a word you're saying,
you know?

I bet he does, too!
Watch!

Would you like a cookie?

- Well?
- Ann, he read your lips.

How can he read lips?
He doesn't even know any words, Larry.

- He doesn't know any words?
- No!

Then how does he think?

- I-- I don't know how he thinks.
- Well, didn't they teach him anything in
that place?

Yeah, they taught him how to tie his shoes
and how to feed himself with a spoon.

Come on, Ann, those kids were retarded.

He doesn't know any words?

Grandma, come on!
Come on!

Bravo!

Bravo!
Bravissimo!

Beautiful, you're beautiful.

Grandma, that was great.

When you...
hear the sound...

Pick up a ring...
and put it on the peg.

Wait until you...
hear a sound.

And put the ring on the peg.

Good.

No, no. Wait. Wait...
until you hear the sound.

No.
No candy.

Not until you... hear... the sound.

I don't think I understand. Is he deaf?
Or are you saying that he's not deaf?

Well, we don't like that word, and, uh,
we can't be certain just what his
hearing loss is.

We would like to have him fitted for a
hearing aid.

- Hearing aid?
- Yes, that's right.

Well... will he be able to hear with it
on?

Well, it's not quite so simple.

It won't help him to hear sounds that he
can't hear already... It won't make
things clearer.

But it will amplify sounds he can just
barely hear now. It will raise the level
of sound in general.

And I think, uh, speech therapy would
be a good idea, too. Don't you?

- Anthony? You want some bread?
- Yeah.

- Jen?
- Is that enough butter? - Yeah.

Jenny, hand me Jonah's glass.

- How do you know he wants any milk?
- Because everybody wants milk.

- Sometimes I don't.
- Oh yeah?

- Yeah, I like soda sometimes.
- You like soda?! - Yeah.

You name me one famous baseball player
who ever drank soda as a kid.
- I don't care!

I don't believe it.
Sodas...

Hey.
What're you doing?

Hey, what're you doing? Hey, look, he's
dropping his stuff on the floor, here!

- Hey! What is this?!
- Jonah, no!

Don't throw your food, keep
your food on your plate.

Don't throw your food.

Son of a...

What're you doing? Now would you cut it
out?! Don't do that!

Danny, give me his plate,
I'll put his peas in the pan.

She'll be back in a minute, now just cool
off! Jonah, will you stop it?! Jenny!

Cool it!

Stop it!

- I don't want my peas, either.
- Anthony, don't be a wiseguy. Just eat
your peas.

- Jonah doesn't have to eat his peas!
- So you're not Jonah, so you eat yours.

- Why?
- Because I said so, that's why. Now you
see? Huh?

- Come on, Danny, you can see Jonah
doesn't like his peas.
- Well, Anthony doesn't like his peas,
either!

Anthony, eat your peas.

Hey, Danny!

- You playing tonight?
- Nah, count me out.

- Why not? What are you doing?
- Nothing, the kid's just home from the
hospital, I better pass.

- What, the retarded kid?
- He's not retarded, man, he's deaf.

- He's deaf. Is that right?
- Yeah.

- How long's he going to be home for?
- Forever.

- Forever? And he's deaf?
- Yeah, man, he's deaf.

- Can he read lips an' all that kind of
stuff?
- No he can't read lips, he doesn't even
know what words are!

- Well, then how do you talk to him?
- Hey, Dickie! I dunno how you talk to
him!

- Come on, Danny, don't be fresh, this is
hot!
- Mmmmm.

- What's with you, anyway? Manicotti
really turns you on, huh?
- I've felt manicotti before, I've never
felt manicotti like this!

- Let me drain this before it gets soggy.
- Hey, should I turn this off? - Yeah.

Hey, Jonah, it's only 15 minutes to dinner.

You want to eat crackers, you sit over
here and eat them so you don't track them
through the house. Okay?

- What in the hell is this?
- It's his hearing aid.

His hearing aid? Jenny, I've seen hearing
aids before. I never saw one that looks
like that.

- Well that's the kind they gave him.
- Who gave him?

The hearing aid place.

You're not going to let him wear this
out in the street, are you? - Why not?

Because people are going to make fun of
him, that's why not. I mean, kids are
going to make fun of him.

Aww, come on, Danny, what do you want me
to do? I didn't make the hearing aid.

- Well, I mean, couldn't you ask for the
regular kind or something?
- It is the regular kind.

What about those little ones that just
kinda go in like, you know, behind the
ear, like?

Danny, the man said that this is the best
kind for kids, they don't break them as
easily, and, they're harder to lose.

- Jenny... would you look at this
thing?
- God, Danny.

- Come on, I mean it, I mean even he
doesn't want to wear it. He's got it off
already. Come on.
- Come on, Jonah, you've got to keep it
in!

- I can't believe that you couldn't get
something better than this.
- Danny, that's all they had!
- I don't think it's possible, I'm sorry.
- Okay, enough...

- ...it's possible.
- Danny, I don't believe you! - Why?

I take him...

- I have to...
- What do I do all day? I go bowling all
day? I work all day, what do you want
from me?

You want to fix dinner? I'll take him
out, we'll get a new hearing aid!

Come on you guys, it's bedtime.

- Jonah's reading Spider-Man.
- Good. But it's still bedtime.

That's Spider-Man, he's my favorite.

He's after the crooks!

You want to see my Spider-Man doll?

See?
You can play with it.

Hey!

He's mine!

- Hey, come on, guys, it's late. What's
going on?
- Jonah won't let me have my Spider-Man!

Come on, Jonah.
Here, Anthony.

Goodnight, Jonah.
Mmmm (kiss).

Goodnight, Anthony.
Mmmm (kiss).

- How come Jonah doesn't like Spider-Man?
- I dunno, maybe it scares him. - Why?

- I don't know, Anthony.
- But Spider-Man's a good guy.

- But Jonah doesn't know that.
- But can't we tell him?

I don't know how...

- Come on, it's lights out time.
- Good night.

Goodnight.

- Oh, yes?
- Oh, we're here to see Mrs. Marquardt.

- I'm Jenny Corelli and this is Jonah.
- Oh, yes, I'm Mrs. Marquardt. Forgive
me...

Come into my office, please. I find I'm a
better typist than my secretary, so I
wait until her day off and then I do my
typing. Right in here, please.

Won't you sit down?

- Does he wear his hearing aid all day?
- Well, he doesn't seem to like it very
much.

Oh, he must learn. Very important. He must
learn to like it, it's his best friend.

- We're trying.
- Good.

Well, as I told you on the phone, most of
our children here are younger than Jonah.

We like to start them around 2 or 3, but
I think he can benefit from our training.

- I hope so.
- May I give you my little speech, Mrs.
Corelli?

It's something I like to do with our
prospective parents and students.

I think it helps to, uh, make our-
selves very clear from the beginning.

Yes, I think I need
someone to be clear with me.

Good. You keep that attitude and you'll
do fine.

We don't permit the use of sign
language or gestures in our sessions.

We believe that once a child begins to
use signs, he becomes lazy in learning
how to use his voice and read lips.

- He follows the course of least
resistance, do you understand me?
- I think so.

Good. You tell me when you don't under-
stand something and you'll do fine.

Now, if he uses signs and does not learn
how to speak and to read lips,

then when he grows older,
he cannot speak to any but the deaf. Do
you understand?

Yes.

Unfortunately it's a hearing world.

Unfortunately for the deaf, that is.

So, we don't permit signs. And we advise
our parents not to permit signing at
home, never.

Never, never.

- Now, what do we believe in?
- I don't know.

We believe in practice, Mrs. Corelli.

Nothing very glamorous, I'm afraid...
just practice.

Repetition.

Many of our children are quite successful
here.

We have our failures, too, but I think
it's better to stress the positive side,
don't you?

Jenny, do you want more paper?
Okay, "I... want... more... paper..."

Good language!
Here you go.

Hey, are you finished?

There's Jonah!

Hi, Jonah!

Hi, Jonah.
Welcome to our class.

You stay.
You stay.

Come into the class. Come on.

Look what I have for you!
I have your name!

See? That's your name!

That's your name.
Jonah! Jonah!

Come, let's meet the other children.
Come on.

Jonah, sit down.

Jonah, this is Kurt.
Good, Kurt.

This is Candy, say "Candy"
Good, Candy.

Susan, good, Susan.

Jennifer. Jonah, this is Jennifer. Can
you say "Jennifer?" Okay, good, Jennifer.

This is Flavia.
Good, Flavia.

This is Daniel. Daniel.
Good, Daniel.

- You're doing good. That's good.
- Mom, I'm through!

- Want to put it up?
- Yeah.

Okay, here's the tape.

I'm through with Jonah's, too.

Come on, we'll go over to your bed.

See?
Isn't this nice?

See, you're Jonah.

I'm Mommy.
That's Anthony.

That's Anthony's bed.

This is Jonah's bed.

You're Jonah.

I'm Mommy.

No, it's fresh, it's fresh...

Hey!
Jonah! Come here!

Hi, grandpa.

Hey, Max, Max!
Show Jonah a trick.

Where's my orange?

Hey, where's my orange?

Okay, baby, come on, now,
come on, slugger, here you go!

Strike three!
Next!

Come on, baby!
Throw that ball.

Hey, Danny, what's this?

What do you mean, "what's this?"
Just throw the ball.

Hey, come on, Danny, put Andy in there.

He's next. Now come on, you going to talk
all day or are you just going to throw
the ball? Come on.

You've got to swing at the ball, Jonah,
okay? You've got to swing at the ball
when he throws it, all right?

- Hey, how about it, Danny, it's getting
late. We want to play.
- Would you just throw the ball, all
right?

- Okay, Danny?
- That's good. - Get him out of there?

Come on, he's got two more strikes,
Gooch, now throw the ball to him.

- I ain't going to throw the ball!
- What? Why not?

Because first of all, the kid don't know
a baseball from an apricot. And second of
all, he's going to hurt himself.

Come on, get him out of there!

- Give me the ball.
- I ain't giving you the ball.
- Come on, Gooch, give me the ball.

Come on, man, calm down. Listen, why
don't you take the kid home and come back?

Hey, Rico, do me a favor, huh? You take
your kid home! Don't tell me what to do
with my kid!

- Take it easy, settle down.
- No, don't tell me to settle down!
What're you talking about?

I'm talking about the people not getting
too excited about you having the kid
around here, that's what I'm talking
about, Danny.

What people? What people don't want my
kid around here?

- You show me. What people?!
- Don't be such a jerk, okay?

Who's a jerk, Rico? Don't you go calling
me a jerk, all right? because you're a
jerk!

Hey? Hey, Terry, you don't
want my kid around here?

- Sal? You don't want my kid coming
around here, or what?
- Danny, we came to play, it's getting
late, know what I mean, Danny?

I want to know, huh?! Who is it here
that doesn't want my kid coming here?!

Hey, come on, play ball, huh?

Anthony, come on!

Hey, hey Jonah. I told you not to throw
food. If you throw food I'm going to take
your plate away.

Okay, buddy, that's it.

- Where are you going with his plate?
- I'm going to take the carrots off.

- Put the plate down.
- Danny, what's the point? - Put the
plate down!

- He doesn't understand what you're
saying to him, Danny!
- He'll understand that if he throws his
food on the floor, he won't eat!

You can teach a dog that!

- He's not a dog!
- Sure eats like one!

Sit down!

Okay

Stop it.
That's it, come on.

What is it, Jonah?
Hmm?

What's the matter?
Aww.

Do you want the airplane?

Okay, say "I want the airplane."

Say "I want the airplane."

No, Jonah.
"I want the airplane."

Do you want the ball?

"I want the ball."

Jonah? Do you want the ball?
Do you want the ball?

Do you want the airplane?

Do you want the airplane?

Do you want the ball?

I never thought I was going to make it.
What time you got?

It's a quarter to 12.

Nuts! I had plenty of time!
I was runnin' down the street like an
idiot.

You got a kid in there? - Yeah.
- Which one?

Jonah.
We just started.

- Oh, I heard about you. He was mis-
diagnosed.
- Yeah.

Thank God you found out.

- Yeah, I'm wondering if it's any better
being deaf?
- I know what you mean.

I got a kid in there, Tommy, dark hair,
small face, and these BIG earphones.

So, how's he doing?

- Okay, I guess.
- How you doing?

It's not easy, is it?

Eh, people don't understand.

- I'm Connie Mellini.
- Hi, I'm Jenny Corelli.

Throw the ball!
Throw the ball!

Throw it!

What's the matter, Jonah?

What is it?
What do you want?

I don't understand, Jonah.

What?

What, Jonah?

- What is it, Anthony? What does he want?
- I don't know! - Jonah!

Stop, Jonah.

Jonah!
Stop pulling me!

I don't know what you want! Jonah, what
is it you want? I don't know what that
means!

Jonah!

Jonah! Stop it!
Stop it, Jonah!

Jonah, don't!

Stop it!
Jonah, stop it!

No, honey, no, I don't know what you
want. I just don't know. Jonah, Jonah,
Jonah.

Jonah, I'm sorry.

I don't know...

Oh, baby...

There, you see? You see him carrying
those grapefruit all the way from the
truck?

- You see him?
- I see him, grandma.

He hires Max to watch the stand, so
he can move the heavy boxes!

- She's right, grandpa, you should let
Max move the boxes.
- Hi, Jenny. - Hi, grandpa.

Where's my favorite friend?!
Ahhh!

Look, look! You want to see what a mad
man looks like? That's what he looks
like!

Lascialo divertire!

Okay, you want to be a mad man, I don't
care!

- Hey, you want to go have some coffee
with me?
- Sure. - Come on, let's go.

How is it with Jonah?

- Fine.
- Eh, I look at you face if I want the
truth.

Not fine...

Tell me, what is it?

Grandma? You remember the time when I was
a little girl, you gave me that little
glass ball with the Empire State Building
inside?

Yeah, and when you turned it upside down,
it looked like it was snowing on the
Empire State Building?

I never told you, but that glass ball
scared me.

I used to think there were people, living
inside,

and they were suffocating
because they couldn't get any air.

Last night, I dreamt that Jonah
was inside the glass ball...

and he was screaming at me to
get him out and I couldn't.

I couldn't break the glass.

And he was screaming, and screaming, and
not even the sound of his screaming made
it out through the glass.

And I kept running around, trying to find
someone to help me, and nobody could.

And Jonah was so angry with me.
I thought...

"he hates me."

- Oh, no!
- I don't know what to do, grandma.

I didn't think it would be like this.

Like what, bambina?

I thought that it was just that he
couldn't hear!

- It's his birthday next week.
- Give me that wrench, will you? Who's
birthday?

Jonah's.

No, honey, the wrench.

I was thinking of having a party.

- What kind of party?
- Birthday party.

For what?

- For Jonah!
- Who're you going to invite?

I don't know... maybe Ann and the kids.
Maybe some of the kids from the
neighborhood.

What "kids from the neighborhood?"
He doesn't know any kids.

What're you going to do, call up and
invite a bunch of kids to a freak show?

"Freak show?"

- Honey, come on, Jenny.
- Don't you ever say that to me!

- Say what to you?
- "Freak." He's not a freak!

- I didn't say that he was a freak.
- You said "Freak show," what's that
supposed to mean?

- It doesn't mean anything, it's just
like an expression.
- I don't want to talk to you!

Oh, great. You don't want to talk to me!
You been yakking at me ever since he got
back from the hospital, and now you don't
want to talk to me!

That's great!

Honey, what do you want from me? You tell
me, what do you want from me?! Where are
you?!

- I want you to care about Jonah.
- I care about Jonah!

- Will you stop yelling at me?
- I'm not yelling at you, what, you don't
want anybody to hear?

- They know. They know all about him,
they think he's nuts.
- Stop it!

You think they don't know? What, do you
think they're blind?

- Stop it, Danny. What do you want?
- What do you want?

You are the one who was so excited
about him coming home from the hospital.

Well, weren't you?

Well, weren't you?!

I don't know.
Maybe I was, maybe I wasn't!

At least there he wasn't paraded up and
down the street, for everybody to point
their fingers at.

- What're you talking about?
- What am I talking about?

- You want to know what they think about
him, out there?
- Stop it, Danny.

They think he's a freak.

Oh, Jonah...

Okay, 1, 2, 3...

** Happy Birthday to you... **

[muffled voices]

...Happy Birthday, Jonah!

You know what? I think we scared him.

Okay, on 3...
1, 2, 3...

There you go, now that's not bad. Hey,
there you go, a little more straight,
that's it, there you go.

- Hey, he's doing okay, huh?
- Yeah.

Anthony? You're helping your brother
here? Here you go, go ahead. Watch
this. Go ahead!

You can do it, go ahead!

- Look at this - Be careful, Jonah.
- That's not good, that's great!

It is, huh?
That's not bad.

- Look at your brother!
- The kid's doing okay, isn't he?

Look at him. Jonah!

Ho! Kid!
Come on, get out of the way!

Jonah!

- Jonah!
- Look what happened. Look what happened.

- Are you all right?
- Are you okay?

- Can he get up?
- Wait a minute, don't move him.

- You okay?
- You all right, Jonah?

Come on, get up.
Get up.

I was only tryin' to get by. He was
right out in the middle of the street...

You... come here!

Get out of that car!

It's not his fault, it's your fault! You
don't let something like this out in the
street!

- What are you talking about?
- He doesn't belong on the street! Why
don't you take him away from here?!

You shut up! Lemme go - You all right?
Keep your nose out of somebody else's
business.

I don't keep my nose out of nobody's
business, and you don't mind my nose!

Danny, he's all right!

You all right?
All right?

What is the point of having a party,
anyway? Huh?

I told you it was stupid to have a party.

- It wasn't your party, it was Jonah's
party.
- Well, Jonah doesn't know how to act at
a party.

- He can have a party if he wants to!
- He doesn't want to. He doesn't even
know what a birthday is.

- It's you who wanted a party.
- You bought him the bike!

That's right. You're right.
I was stupid.

- I shouldn't have gotten him the bike,
because he doesn't know how to ride a
bike.
- He can too ride a bike!

Yeah, huh, yeah, inside. Back and forth
between the kitchen and the bathroom, he
can ride his little bike.

Oh, stop being so stupid!

Hey, you know, you're the one who's being
stupid, because you won't face it. He's
not normal.

I don't want to hear you say that!

He's not normal!

Stop it, Danny!
Stop it!

- Don't you say that to me!
- He's not normal! Face it!

He is normal, he can't hear!

Yeah, he can't hear, he can't talk, he
can't think, he can't even live like a
human being!

He belongs in that damn hospital!

- I said it. - Danny...
- That's it, Jenny. I mean it, that's it.

Danny, I saw Jonah in that hospital for
3 years.

Every time I went there, I felt numb.

I thought it was cold in there. It
wasn't, Danny, they showed me the
thermometer on the wall...

I had to make myself go there, Danny!
I had to make myself go there!

- What're you doing?
- Leaving.

Don't come back, Danny!
You hear me?

Don't you ever come back!
Don't come back!

Danny?
Don't ever come back!

Well, you'd make a nice fountain.

What're you doing?

- I think it's getting thin in the
back, right here...
- Oh, for heaven's sakes...

Baldy...

[speaking Spanish]
Ay, qu? barbaridad! Tiene raz?n, se me
va a caer el pelo y me van a llamar Baldy,

como dicen los mismos americanos aqu?
en este pa?s.
Stop crying in Spanish.

I refuse, I won't do it.
I will not get bald!

Well, don't talk to me, speak to your
scalp.

Look, you're not losing your hair and
even if you were there's nothing you can
do about it.

Yeah, I guess you're right.
Worry wouldn't do it any good.

- Certainly not.
- No.

Danny?

Danny, don't go.

- Where's daddy?
- I don't know.

- Is he coming back?
- I don't know.

- Is he mad at us?
- Oh, I don't think so. Eat your
macaroni, Anthony.

Is he mad at Jonah?

No!

If I couldn't hear anything, would I get
a bike, too?

Oh, Anthony. You know, sometimes I wonder
whether you want to make me laugh or cry.

Laugh.

Finish your macaroni.

Ma, it's no big deal. I went down
and filled out some forms, that's all.

- I'm going to get welfare, what did you
think I was going to do?
- Welfare?

- Come on, ma.
- Jenny... welfare...

Ma, for Pete's sakes, you didn't cry once
all this time for Jonah, now I'm going to
get welfare, you're crying.

- No one in this family's ever been on
welfare.
- I know, ma.

- Jenny...
- Yeah, ma?

Jenny, don't you tell anyone!

I won't.

Jonah, look at you.

I could walk out of here right
now and never see you again.

You are Jonah.
I am Mommy.

You are Jonah.
I am Mommy.

You are Jonah.
I am Mommy.

First I'll let you look and listen.

And then, you'll just
listen and you won't see.

Are you ready?

Baa Baa Baa.

Okay, Jonah, I'll say it again.
Baa Baa Baa.

One more time, Jonah.
Baa Baa Baa.

- "Maa"
- Good for you! Wonderful!

That's enough for today. I'm afraid we've
worn each other out. Bye bye, Jonah.

Come on, Richie, it's your turn.

I never thought I wanted to be like
everybody else. Now that's all I want.

Just to be like any mother, and have
Jonah be like any boy. That's not asking
too much, is it? - No.

Now all I need is someone to tell me how.

Eh, I used to go around asking people
that question. What a nuisance I was!

I would ask teachers and doctors, and
audiologists, everybody, I think I even
asked the mailman what he thought.

And what did you find out?

Oh, nothing. Everybody has an answer and
nobody agrees with anyone else. Come on,
I'll show you.

This one says you should never let your
child use his hands to express himself,
or he'll never learn to use his voice or
to read lips.

This one says exactly the opposite, that
you should use every means possible,
including sign language, to talk with
your child. Otherwise he'll grow up
without understanding anything.

Do you know what's great about this
place? It's quiet in here. You can
imagine what it's like being deaf
without having to stick your fingers
in your ears.

This is a rabbit.
You try it.

"Ra-bi-t"
"Ra-bi-t"

You try.

"Ra-bi-t"
"Ra-bi-t"

Good try!
"Ra-bi-t"

Okay, Jonah, one more.

Jonah?

Jonah. Jonah!

Sit down.

No!
Ow!

Jonah!
You come with me.

Come over here.
No!

Over here.
Come on, this way.

You stay-- you stay right here.

"Car."
Look, Jonah.

That's a "Car."

"Car."

That's a truck. A truck
Watch me.

"Truck."

"Truck."

"Aaah." Not "Aaah!" Is that all you
can say, is "Aaah?" It's a truck!

Jonah, damn it! I can't stand
it anymore! It's not my fault!

Not my fault! Not my fault!
Not my fault!

Hey, Anthony, show your brother the
fire hydrant.

Jonah, "Fire Hydrant."
"Fire Hydrant."

That's good, that's good.

Jonah, look.

"Fence."

"Fence."

Hey, Anthony, show your brother the
garbage can.

- Jonah, "Garbage Can."
- No, you've got to say it facing him,
Anthony.

Jonah... "Garbage Can."

"Car."

Whoa!

Thank You.

Who's it from?

Daddy.

It's the best I can do for now.
Love to the kids, Danny

What does it say?

He says he loves you.

Come on, let's get the bike in the house.

Come on.

Hey, Jonah!
Okay, finish, now.

And when you finish we're
going to start dancing now, again.

Don't dent the onion!
Don't dent the onion!

[speaking Italian]
Niente, niente, te lo giuro!

No, non ti preocupare.

Francesco! Francesco, no!

Parlami, Francesco!

Guardami!

Grandpa?!

Grandma, oh grandma!

- Let me in! Let me in!
- Grandma!

Jonah...

He'll be all right,
he'll be all right.

[speaking Italian]
Perch? m'hai lasciata, perch??

- Goodbye...
- Goodbye.

- Say goodbye to grandpa.
- Goodbye.

He's dead, Jonah.

Grandpa's dead...

Jenny, I'm sorry.

He was Jonah's best friend.

And I don't think he even understands
what's happened, Danny. - Yeah.

I wish he could tell me how he's feeling.

Yeah, I know.

He takes in so much with his eyes, but
none of it ever comes back out again.

Sometimes, I'm afraid he'll get so
full of things-- he'll just burst.

Look...

I got to be going, you know? I just...

Just kind of wanted to stop by, you know?

Jonah!
Jonah!

Yeah?

What?

No, no, he's...

Wait a minute...

- Carmelia?
- S?.

- Where was he?
- I see him running by, I look for you,
but no one here with him!

- Well, where did you see him?
- Right there, but he's gone, now!

- Which way did he go?
- I think he went that way!

- Oh, grandma...
- Please, please, find him!

Hey, kid!

Hey, kid, you could've got yourself
killed.

Hey, kid, wait a minute!

Hey, hey, take it easy, take it easy.

Hey, kid, hey, kid, what do you doing
wandering around the streets like that?

Hey, come on.
Come on, you can't do that.

Hey, what's the matter with you, kid?

Hey, what, are you crazy or somethin'?
Take it easy, take it easy.

Hey, look, it's going to be all right.

Take it easy, will you, kid?

Hey, this kid's crazy or something.

- Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa!
- It's all right, it's all right.

It's the room at the end of
the hall, around to the right.

Jonah!

- Why is he tied up like that?! What are
you doing to him?
- It's only to control him.

But he's deaf! He's just deaf!
He's just deaf!

- Untie him!
- Now, calm down, now. We didn't...

- He's only deaf!
- Everything will be...

It was awful.
He looked so helpless.

- And when he looked at me...
- What?

He hated me.

- Oh, man, he didn't hate you.
- Danny, he did. It was like it was all
my fault.

I don't know what to do.

Danny, please help me.
I never wanted him to be deaf.

I never wanted him to
look funny and sound funny.

Jenny, it tears me in half...

I can't stand being here and
I can't stand not being here.

That's no big deal,
that's the way I feel.

I guess I'm like Jonah...

I don't have any words to
say what I want to say.

It takes time, Mrs. Corelli.
We don't have any shortcuts.

How much time? Jonah's life isn't going
to stop and wait for him to learn to
speak.

- Repetition...
- You keep saying that, but Jonah's like
an animal in a cage.

- He might as well be in a zoo.
- If he's in a cage, Mrs. Corelli, I
didn't put him there. I'm trying to
help him get out of it.

- But he's not getting out of it!
- It takes time

And what will he be like, then? What will
he be like when he gets out of that cage?

Like you and me.

No he won't, he's not like you and me,
he'll never be like you and me.

He'll be as much like you and me as we
can make him.

He'll be as much like you and me as a
parrot is.

- Oh, Mrs. Corelli, you're not being...
- Tell me about the children who fail.

You said sometimes children fail. What
happens to them?

Tell me!

They remain deaf, Mrs. Corelli.

Hi. My name is Jenny Corelli.
Could we talk for a minute?

- Deaf. We can't hear.
- Yes, I know. My son is... deaf.

I-- I saw you in speech therapy.
Upstairs.

My son goes to speech therapy.
Um-- my son?

"Speech Therapy?"

Could we talk together?
Uh... maybe we could have lunch?

No...
Oh, damn...

I'm sorry...

Oh...

Uh...

Pardon me?

I'm sorry, I don't understand.

Would you like to meet some deaf people?

Yes.
I would like to meet some deaf people.

- You can come to our club for the deaf.
- A club, for the deaf?

Deaf people like to associate with each
other, so we have a deaf club. Would you
like to come?

- Sure! If it would be all right?
- Yes. You can meet many different
people.

We're not all the same. Thin, fat,
big, little, smart, not so smart.

Thanks.

- I'm nervous. You sure you want to do
this?
- No.

This is 356.
Let's go in.

- Listen, we passed a movie back there,
you want to go see "Star Wars?"
- I saw it.

- Do you want to go see it again?
- Come on, we've come this far. Take a
deep breath.

- What do you think it'll be like in
there?
- Quiet.

Hi, Janice.
Hi, Paul.

- This is my friend, Connie.

- Connie?
- Yes.

Hi.
How are you?

She brought me to interpret for you,
Hi, I'm Kate.

Hi, Kate. I'm Jenny and this is Connie.

- Is it too loud for you in here?
- A little!

Sorry, can't hear.

Paul thinks that you must be
wondering about the music.

You won't believe that everybody here is
deaf.

Well, we did think it was going to be
quiet.

Well you know, many deaf people have some
hearing, and those who don't can still feel
vibrations.

Oh...

- Want a drink?
- Oh, yes, thank you, I'll have a ginger
ale.

A ginger ale?

Um, that's okay.
I'll have... a beer?

Now you know how it feels to be a deaf
person.

Have to settle for something you don't
want just because no one understands you.

She wants a ginger ale.

Beer.

- Want to sit down?
- Oh, yes, thanks.

Should we sit here? Okay.
Uh... excuse us.

- Janice, you speak really well.
- Thank You.

Paul was born deaf. That's why, its a lot
harder to learn how to speak when you're
born deaf.

- Janice became deaf at the age of...
- Seven.

Seven. So she already knew how to speak.

That's why it's a lot easier to
understand her.

Ah! Thank You, Paul.

- Woody, this is Jenny and Connie. This
is Woody.
- Hi. - Hi, Woody.

He's saying you have deaf children.

Uh, have you taught your children
sign language, he wants to know?

Oh, no. It's a big controversy, I guess.

All the hearing people think it's a big
controversy.
But we deaf, no.

Want to learn some sign?

Um, okay, yeah.

Oh, he's going to teach you animals.

Because that's the first thing
he learned when he was a kid.

Now you have to guess what they are.

- A dog?
- A rabbit?

- A rabbit, am I right?
- A rabbit, right!

That's a turtle!

Now watch his face.

A condor.
What is that?

What does it feel like?

- Sssss - A snake!
- That's right!

Want to teach them some sign?

"How."

"Why."

"What."

Oh, "Happy!"

"Sad."

"Funny."

"How are you."

"Fine."

"Lousy"

That's fun.

- Were you afraid when you came tonight?
- A little.

When I was a little girl, I used to
wonder, why people are afraid of deaf
people?

It made me very angry.

When I was older, I was sitting on a bus
once, and a blind man got on the bus.

He came with a cane, down the
aisle, tapping on the floor.

And he got very close to me, and I was
thinking, "don't sit down next to me."

And, then, he came right up next to me,
and he turned around, and he sat down in
the seat beside me.

I started to cry, and I sat there crying,
and I thought, "I'm afraid,"

"That's why people are afraid of me."
And so, I knew.

And I made up my mind not to
be angry at people anymore.

If they were afraid of me, I would
try to make them feel not afraid.

- Well, at least we know deaf kids grow
up.
- Yeah.

I want Jonah to learn sign language.

I want to learn sign language.

I hate to lose a child to deafness,
Mrs. Corelli, but maybe you're right.

- You asked about children who fail.
- Oh, I don't think it's Jonah who's
failed.

- I think I failed him.
- How do you mean?

It's funny... all this time I've been
pretending he wasn't deaf. - Pretending?

Pretending that he could be just like
everyone else. 'Just like you and me,' I
think you said.

We'd teach him to talk, we'd teach him to
read lips, and if he could learn to do
that, he wouldn't be deaf anymore.

But many children learn to do those
things.

- Perhaps if we'd had Jonah earlier...
- But we didn't, we have him now.

And I think we're trying to make him into
something that he's not.

We've been trying to help him live in the
world as it is,

where people speak to each other and
listen to each other.

Oh, if we can do this for a child,
we've given him a great gift.

If the child cannot learn to do it,
there's plenty of time for him to be
deaf.

That's just it. He is deaf.

- There's no virtue in that, Mrs.
Corelli.
- There's no point in pretending he's
hearing, either.

- It's still a hearing world.
- Yes, it is.

I guess it's up to those of us who love
Jonah, to help him live in it, deaf.

Mrs. Corelli...

I won't allow Jonah to use signs while
he's in our classes.

Do you think it's contagious?

When I was a young woman just beginning
to teach, children who signed had their
hands tied.

I've seen Jonah with his hands tied.

I won't allow signing.

And I've got to choose what's best for
Jonah.

Hot dog [Jonah's first word :) ]

- What?
- "Table." - Oh,

- What's that?
- "Boy." Boy.

- A Girl.
- Girl.

- Mommy [Jonah's first word! :) ]
- Mommy.

I love you.

- What have you got?
- Oh, look, it's a turtle!

- What does that mean?
- "Dead."

The turtle's dead.

It's dead.

Dead?

Hi, grandma.

Will you keep an eye on these two for me?
I need to run and get some things.
- Sure, go ahead.

What?

Dead.

Turtle?

- Dead.
- Dead, yes.

Show me that.

"Dead."

- How do you say "I love you?"
- I love you

Jonah knows it, too.

I love you.
And you.

- Hi, Mrs. Corelli.
- Hi.

You want to see the principal? Mr.
Barclay's in the cafeteria. It's the
door over on your right.

- You can meet him in there if you like.
- Thank you.

- Welcome.
- Come on, Jonah.

-Ooh, are you finished?
- Anthony hasn't read it, yet.

Oh, Anthony hasn't read it, yet, okay.

- Did you make friends with Spider-Man?
- Yeah!

- Are you hungry?
- No.

- You sure?
- Yeah.

- Are you nervous?
- Eh...

- A little bit?
- A little bit.

- Hello! How are you doing?
- Hi. Great, good to see you.

This is Jonah.

- What, Carolyn? What do you want?
- What is his name?

What's his name?
Why don't you ask him yourself?

What is your name?

J-O-N-A-H.
My name is Jonah.

Jonah.

English Subtitles:
Timing & Adjustment by jpf
Dialog Transcription by Zaphod