Phase9.tv Short Film Showcase
The Silent Child (2017)
Stars: Rachel Shenton, Rachel Fielding, Anna Barry
Director: Chris Overton
Writer: Rachel Shenton
Running Time: 20 mins
Language: English, British Sign Language
Short Film Review by EDF
The Silent Child is centred around a deaf child Libby (Maisie Sly), whose parents bring in Joanne (Rachel Shenton, who also wrote this short film), to prepare Libby in time for her first term at school.
Joanne starts teaching Libby sign language and they both develop a bond. Libby’s mother Suzanne (Rachel Fielding) starts feeling left out, preferring that Libby be taught speech and not sign language. Suzanne decides to take matters into her own hands and that may not be the best thing for Libby.
When it comes to making short films, there is an art of getting the viewer drawn into the story and caring for the characters in that limited time frame. When it works as well as in The Silent Child, the emotional impact the story made you feel at the moment the end titles roll, will stay with you for a long while after.
The themes of alienation, selfishness and jealously are prevalent in the story without needing the use of dialogue to highlight it.