Hot Docs 2019: Our Review of ‘Inga Can Hear’

Hot Docs 2019: Our Review of ‘Inga Can Hear’

Inga Can Hear mirrors its subject just like your average coming-of-age film. Inga is the only person in her family that is not deaf, and has been the sole interpreter for her parents and brother since a very young age. As a teenager living in the remote Latvian countryside, Inga is torn between wanting to further her own quality of life, by getting an education for herself in order to make the world a more inclusive place for deaf people, and leaving her family to fend for themselves without her.

As Inga tries to form her own identity outside of her family, expectations and behaviours start to flare up. She gets into fights at her secondary school, her mother doesn’t want to speak with her anymore, and cannot keep up with constantly travelling back and forth between her home and school.

Much like her life being a work-in-progress, this documentary feels like a work-in-progress itself, in that way that there is some sense of resolution for Inga becoming independent from her family, but it comes at the expense of how abrupt the documentary narratively shifts suddenly when Inga makes a radical change for herself near the end of the 61-minute runtime. The concept of this documentary would be a great pitch for a typical teenage coming-of-age film, and don’t be surprised if we see this happen in a few years.

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Marc is just like any other film reviewer on the Internet, screaming into the endless void of interconnected social media...except he does not use Twitter that much. Having worked on various feature films, shorts, web series, and music videos, Marc has also worked on the distribution end of the film industry. His love for David Bowie and Nicolas Cage is only rivaled by his affinity for the movie going experience, which to him is like going to Temple (or ciné-gogue as he puts it,) where the film is gospel and the seats are just as uncomfortable. He lives in Toronto.
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