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Film FestivalsMovie ReviewsHot Docs 2019: Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements Review

dannythemoviemanMay 16, 201985/100
Overall Score
Rating Summary
Moonlight Sonata, besides being a creative, visually striking doc, providing insight from the director's personal experience to create a movie about persistence and achieving the most difficult.

This will be one of many reviews during this year’s Hot Docs Film Festival, to keep up with our latest coverage, click here.

With Moonlight Sonata, HBO is backing director Irene Taylor Brodsky once again for her sophomore directorial effort, and commendably so – considering how radically different this project is. After covering a myth-based story in 2016 Hot Docs selection Beware The Slenderman, Brodsky is not only covering something real and grounded this time – but near and dear to her. If anything, this one proves how versatile of a director she’s been – because this effort has resulted in one of HBO’s best documentaries to date.

One of the things that works well about the film was how Brodsky covers a subject and topic that is very personal to her. Having grown up with 2 deaf parents, and having a deaf son, the topic means a lot to her – and she articulated the delicate subject with grace. She’s put herself and her family in quite a vulnerable position being this open about the topics discussed here, and she deserves all the praise for it.

The fact that the subjects of the film are family members of hers also makes for a much more emotionally hard-hitting execution, and does an excellent job at captivating the audience. Since it’s from a personal lens and not an observatory one, it strikes such a strong chord with the audience, and we feel it more than any other style of filmmaking can allow us to.

Jonas’ story is certainly worthy of mainstream attention, and his journey learning to play Moonlight Sonata is truly mesmerizing. Make sure to have tissues handy by the time this one airs.

*still courtesy of IMDB*


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