Through motivation, people with a disability can succeed in any field of competition. People usually envision their dreams that inspire their motivation or set approach towards achieving their aims. However, for people with a disability, achieving any inspiring dream requires immense support from the society, in which they live. The two Taiwan movies, Hear Me and Jump Ashin! illustrate how people can become successful and make their dreams come true when they receive required support.
Hear Me directed by Ting Shuo and produced by Peggy Chiao tells a story of two deaf sisters, Yang Yang and Xiang Peng, who support each other while the older Xian Peng tries to become a swimmer in the Deaflympics. While Xiang Peng participates in swimming training for the Olympics for the deaf, her younger sister, Yang Yang, is standing nearby ready to support her in whatever way possible, in order to see her achieve her goal.
One day, a young man, Tian-kuo by name, a character played by Eddie Peng, delivers some food for the swimming team in the swimming pool. There, he meets Peng’s younger sister, Yang Yang, and because of the interest he develops in her, he tries to get to know the woman better and begin a relationship with her. However, when Yang Yang realizes that Tia-kuo is taking most of the attention she has to give to her sister, she breaks off the relationship. Only because of the encouragement by Yang’s older sister, she understands that she has to live her own life and be happy. This is the basic argument of this essay: even people with a disability such as hearing-impaired ones can love and be loved.
On the other hand, Jump Ashin! tells a story of Ashin, a gymnast player, who has spent most of his life training for the national gymnastics team. However, his life makes a U-turn when, one day, his mother goes to the coach of the national team with complaints. She tells him that her son has uneven legs; his work would not give any reasonable competition and would amount to nothing; therefore, he should stop his training. Because of this, Ashin is eliminated from the team and has to quit the sport entirely. Later on, he gets involved in the gang fights with some of his friends. It has been so until the day when the dad of a gangster meets him and promises not to kill if he wins a gold medal in any competition. This made Ashin pursue this goal. This motivation makes Ashin achieve and win the medal; thereby he goes against the prejudice and discrimination that have undermined his belief in his talent.
From a brief overview of the two Taiwan movies, it comes out clear that people with a disability can succeed in facets, which are commonly considered to be inappropriate for them. According to this idea, the paper compares and contrasts the two movies in terms of filming techniques, themes, and symbolic meanings, among others.
In the film Hear Me, the author ignores some of the filming techniques what makes the film stronger and even more persuasive. In the film, Cheng Fen seems to demonstrate strong faith in his audience. In this case, Fen ensures that the film does not involve any tragic images or scenes of suffering and devastation; it even does not pour the challenging story on the viewers all of a sudden. Rather, he prefers incorporating the long moments of silence in depicting the hearing impairment. As a rule, when faced with stories that talk about people with the hearing impairments, most film directors tend to include narrators, a voice over, or one who reads aloud for translating what is spoken to the deaf. This filming technique, however, lacks in Hear Me. This feature makes the film much stronger.
In particular, the film features characters who express their emotions with their hands and faces in a manner that is consistent with the words and emotions being expressed. For instance, there seems to be joy and excitement in the hands of Tian-kuo, a young man who falls in love with Yang Yang, mixed with emotions of worry and despair when he is emotionally confused. Consequently, Yang loudly slaps her hand against her chest when she drank and angry confronts her sister. The filming technique in Hear Me is genuine, especially in the manner, in which all the scenes in the movie are filmed without any background music. This has a symbolic meaning and brings the relevancy to the message of the movie.
Absence of the background music in all scenes in the movie gives understanding of the manner, in which the hearing impaired people do interact and communicate with one another. It is contrary to the use of the background music in other films, including Jump Ashin! where music is used for creating the audience-friendly and convenient viewing. While this is a unique peculiarity, Hear Me begins just like most love stories that include a chance of an encounter. In this film, an encounter occurs at a swimming pool where a young woman, Peng, trains to compete in the Deaflympics. Each time Peng makes the finish first, her younger sister, Yang, runs excitedly, picks up a flag, and then waves it proudly as if she had won a gold medal. Later on, Tian-kuo, a young man who cannot hear properly and uses the sign language arrives at the swimming pool, meets and starts a conversation with Yang Yang. This is an encounter of two love birds, which is a common feature of many love stories. However, the film also depicts the independency possessed by those living with a disability, especially the hearing impaired people.
For instance, when Tian-kuo takes Yang to the hospital after an accident, the woman demonstrates her independence clearly. This is evident when Yang pays for all lunches brought to her by Tian-kuo as gifts. The man considers such behavior a way of denying him the opportunity to show his love to her; this situation also has a symbolic meaning. As a rule, people with disability, especially the hearing impaired individuals believe that they are a burden to those who surrounds them. Some even feel confused and ashamed when they are offered help. Because of this, they usually translate any gifts offered to them as an act of sympathy and throwing their inability in their face. Therefore, Yang develops independency in order to avoid this perceived stigma.
Moreover, in the film Hear Me, not all seem to work out well. In particular, Yang Yang and Xiang Peng’s father is a missionary, yet he leaves his daughter in order to carry out the missionary work in Africa. Even in times when the girls are in need, their father does not return. His absence during the trying times of his daughters is significant, since his presence would have brought the emotional relief to the two sisters and help them come to terms with certain difficult truths. This is another aspect of the film that brings relevancy to its message and most importantly helps in understanding that disability is not inability. The hearing impaired people can manage difficulties encountered by other people, as well. This is the idea that is highlighted in the film.
On the other hand, Jump Ashin! directed by Yu-Hsein Lin is an inspiring real life story. Yu-Hsein Lin employs the filming techniques that include narrative structure and stylistic techniques that are, however, neither interesting nor exciting, unlike the ones in Hear Me. Unlike Hear Me, Jump Ashin! uses a documentary film technique that revolves around a variety of important events and ideas that are incorporated in order to inform or communicate crucial information to the viewers. Since Jump Ashin! is a real life story of a young man coached by the film director’s older brother, the incorporation of the documentary film techniques shows that the filmmaker wanted the film to speak directly to the audience on the views or opinions or even an explanation that was given. Such techniques include; authenticity of the real life events and people, and use of the background music and voice-over. This is similar to the filming techniques in Hear Me, where all characters and atmosphere help the audience understand the abilities that people with disability lack.
The debut of the film seems to be factual. However, the manner, in which most of the screen time is spent describing the friendship of Ashin and his friend, is rather interesting. A life on the street makes the entire idea of motivation inconsequential; this fact is reflected in the movie perfectly. At the very beginning of the film, Ashin is described as a gymnast training to achieve the goal of his entire life who is growing at a small town of Yilan. Ashin’s ambition to have a cap is undermined by his mother who believes that Ashin’s sport would bring no success. As a result, Ashin is eliminated from the team and heads to the streets; he joins the wrong company where he meets his best friend Pickle. Ashin’s street life is also meaningful; moreover, it provides the man with the motivation to develop his talent despite anything. The street does not want to believe in his disability and his bad physical health.
Similar to Yang Yang and Peng in Hear Me, Ashin seems to succeed because of motivation. For Yang, her relationship with Tian-kuo was encouraged by Peng while Peng’s success in swimming that earned her many medals was a fruit of motivation by her younger sister, Yang. Likewise, Ashin won a gold medal in gymnastics because of a forced motivation, which was contrary to the type of motivation in Hear Me. When Ashin and Pickle had a problem with the son of a local gangster, he was forced to win a medal or be killed. The fact that the local kingpin was a friend of the trainer of the national team offered Ashin the opportunity to have a cap. Later on, he succeeded and won the medal. In this regard, the kingpin symbolizes a bridge to opportunities that gives people with a disability equal opportunity to succeed in areas considered unreachable to them. The figure of a “mother” in this film symbolizes forces of discrimination that undermines the faith of people with disability. In both films, the absence of the Yang and Peng’s father and Ashin’s mother is a breakthrough in determining the limits of their abilities.
In conclusion, the two Taiwan movies, Here Me and Jump Ashin! employ different filming techniques, which help in communicating the message on motivation of people with a disability. While Hear Me is a message movie and has a message worth a film work, Jump Ashin! is a documentary film that tells the real life story of a particular person. Therefore, it is imperative for the film makers to incorporate interactive filming techniques that bring out essential themes of the stories that they tell. From the two movies, it is clear that disability is not inability. Thus, it should not be used in depriving people with a disability of the essential rights that can foster their success.