Don’t Judge A Book By Its Cover
Clocking in at 38 minutes, Audible is an immersive short-documentary film following a hearing-impaired high school football team. Specifically, the attention here falls to Amaree who certainly carries a few demons onto the field with him.
Between his Dad walking out when he was 2 through to friend Teddy committing suicide thanks to relentless bullying, Amaree finds salvation through football. Thanks to his grit and determination, this inspirational young man joins a whole host of other deaf players as they set out to prove the world wrong about their chances in life.
Fast forward past a 42 match long winning streak and you certainly can’t doubt their commitment and drive. Of course, given the slew of kids alongside him, it was always going to be difficult to give everyone an equal share of the limelight. The run-time is definitely Audible’s biggest weakness.
The film is screaming out for a feature-length run-time and within that, we could have seen more from the other players and what brought them to this team. There are also teasing glimpses of Amaree’s sort-of girlfriend Lera but this is pretty much sidelined until late on in the film.
If there’s one thing Netflix excels at though, it’s sensitivity to accessibility. From Crip Camp and Deaf U through to shows like Move to Heaven and Bojack Horseman, the studio consistency shows a level of understanding about these often criminally overlooked topics.
The sound design in this film though is where Audible excels. There are large swathes of silence, muffled audio and a minimalist score during the moments of dialogue that really help bring you into Amaree’s world. Another film that gets this bang on is “It’s All Gone Pete Tong” too, which similarly has a really clever way of handling its sound design.
Unlike that movie though, Audible’s sound design is consistent and it’s easily the best part of the whole picture.
Overall, Audible is a moving and inspiring short documentary, one that perfectly exemplifies the trials and tribulations of the deaf community. This documentary could have done with another 40 minutes or so to really dive into the nitty gritty details of the characters, but aside from that this documentary is on-point.