26 October 2011
DAO profiles a film which helps to document the history of the deaf community and shine a light on how some managed to survive the cruelty of the German concentration camps during WW2
Five Needles is a short film by Deaf Director Julian Peedle-Calloo. A trailer for the film is available for viewing on youtube, with a 14 minute version on British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust website. The story follows 4 Deaf women in the concentration camps during WW2 who are hiding their Deafness to stay alive.
Julian says "After researching the secrets and accounts from during the war and in concentration camps of the past I soon realised that this was a story that must be told. The truth about what happened to the deaf or the disabled is not something that was ever recorded; it is just assumed that persons who fell into this category were automatically gassed and left for dead.
Only now are there a few cases in America where deaf people have spoken out about what happened to them in the wars and in concentration camps. When I discovered this it sparked a thought in me and I started looking further into it I then discovered that in fact there were deaf Jewish people who actually survived the camps. Which of course is a bit of a double whammy - not only were they deaf but they also were Jews! This story is a testament to the resilience of people who if spotted had a 0% chance at any survival."
The film helps to document the history of the deaf community and shine a light on just how they managed to survive such a cruel and harsh ordeal when the odds really were stacked against them.
This film was funded by Neath Films and was supported by the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust. It was produced and directed on a budget of £2000. All of the crew, actors, makeup artists, caterers etc gave of their time and experience for very low fees. It is amazing to see just how much can be achieved without having a pot of money.