Slamdance 2021: “The Bin”

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It’s not something we can easily imagine what parents go through when they learn about their flesh and blood being born with a hearing impairment or deafness. Not to mention, their child who must learn to live with it. What appears to us an impossible and difficult life journey we wish to not have for ourselves is a reality for others, and it is perfectly stated in “The Bin”, by deaf writer/director and producer Jocelyn Tamayao.

“The Bin” follows a little boy, Mico, who faces the disapproval of his father as he tries to practice sign language with his deaf friend. The father is furious and continues demanding Mico to speak as much as he can, trying to enforce rules Mico cannot follow. As the father-and-son’s continuous struggle has no end, the man learns about cochlear implants which could help solve his son’s deafness. But will the surgery provide closure to the father’s lost standing denial? Or is it just a matter of acceptance, so that his son can exist in his own space and live life the way he wants not being dictated by his father?

“The Bin” is one of those films that describes the internal struggle of parents as they deal with the deafness of their child and their inability to hear or accommodate his or her needs but rather concentrate on their own. It’s about the ability to reconnect with Mico by letting him be who he wants rather than just someone who his father wishes him to be. The film allows the audience to grasp the lack of empathy towards the deaf community some have, discrimination against it and why we should not dictate to others how to live their life.

With Sundance’s breakthrough “Coda” and its raised awareness towards the underrepresented deaf community, “The Bin” enters the league of films that should reign the 21st century as a new form in the world of cinema where the sign language, same as if you were speaking it, must be accepted as a norm without question. Indeed, “The Bin” perhaps is far from being great. But I don’t believe it pretends to be that either. It just concentrates on the story of a family, their misconception and what they do in order to accept their son as he is, without putting him through unnecessary challenges of the new technologies, that often bring more harm than good.

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