10th Ave Productions’ first medical-social documentary
The RDI network broadcasts 10th Ave Productions‘ first medical-social documentary, Franchir le Mur du Son, on the revolutionary technology of cochlear implants, Tuesday, June 8th, 2004 at 8pm as part of the Grands Reportages series.
More than a decade ago, the lives of René Simard and Marie-Josée Taillefer were turned upside down when they discovered that their son, Olivier, suffered from acute deafness. A couple of years later, their daughter Rosalie followed in her brother’s footsteps, receiving a cochlear implant to enable her to hear: an important decision, a delicate operation, and an ongoing re-adaptation.
“Prior to making the decision to give the cochlear implant to our son, I told myself, we’re changing the course of his life. He was born deaf and is heading towards the world of sign-language; it’s his destiny. Why would we go and alter his fate?” explains Marie-Josée. “Prior to making the decision to give the cochlear implant to our son, I told myself, we’re changing the course of his life. He was born deaf and is heading towards the world of sign-language; it’s his destiny. Why would we go and alter his fate?” explains Marie-Josée Taillefer during the recording. “I asked myself that question repeatedly, yet at the same time, our son has the opportunity to live the ‘hearing’ world. When a person goes to China, he/she can survive speaking French but it helps incredibly if he/she learns the Chinese language, especially if the person plans on spending a lifetime there. So we told ourselves, we will give him the cochlear implant and it’ll never be too late to remove it if that’s the best thing – or for him to remove it himself – but if we wait, we can’t give it to him later.”
The operation needs to be done within a given time period or else the implant will be ineffective. Mérima and Laura are two charming young girls aged 3 and 4, whose hearing is impaired. Thanks to their parents’ generosity, Nancy Savard’s team was permitted to attend the operation and to observe the girls’ rehabilitation, a process that the Taillefer-Simard children also both underwent. Deeply distressing images, highly emotional moments, and clear explanations in laymen’s terms offered by an experienced team of specialists!
For almost 20 years, Doctor Pierre Ferron and his team at Quebec City’s Hôtel-Dieu Hospital have worked devotedly to give deaf people a chance to hear through cochlear implants.
“We live in a modern world in which verbal communication is practically essential. Therefore, if we wish to live in this world of communications, if we want to be at ease and to evolve, hearing is extremely useful, and for the seriously deaf, hearing is attainable through cochlear implants,” affirms the documentary’s specialist.
Not everyone agrees on this radical technological breakthrough. Some people affected by deafness oppose the procedure – people like Daniel Forgues, managing director of the Hearing Foundation of Quebec.
“This documentary has been a watershed for 10th Ave Productions,” declares producer/director Nancy Savard. “I work with a multi-faceted team that is passionate about a wide range of subjects and types of productions. Maintaining the same rigorous energy and quality standards as in its animated productions, 10th Ave Productions diversifies its field of activities according to its varied interests. We are proud of the trust and confidence in our company that André Poirier of Radio-Canada and Robert Nadeau of RDI have demonstrated in taking the risk of showing our first medical/social documentary to the public. Furthermore, without the Taillefer-Simard family and Doctor Ferron’s generous cooperation, this project could never have succeeded as it has.”
Franchir le Mur du Son, conceived and directed by Nancy Savard with the assistance of Sophie Bégin, written by Rober Lapalme, cinematography by Richard Bélanger and editing by Alvaro Reyes, produced in collaboration with the Canadian Television Fund, the Canadian Film and Independent Video Fund, RDI and Radio-Canada.