S4 E11 ‘Sound of Metal’ — A Window Into Deaf Culture (Part Two)


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In this episode, we continue our conversation on ‘Sound of Metal’, a movie about a drummer whose sudden loss of hearing puts him on an unlikely journey of growth and self-discovery. We also discuss how little we know about the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community. The conversation is so good and so long that we split it into two parts. See full transcript in Chinese for part 2 here.


  • 3:37 Xinke share her thoughts on the errors in ‘Sound of Metal’
  • 8:33 the overly complicated U.S. healthcare and insurance system
  • 11:02 we discuss the audism and ableism in the movie
  • 15:56 the candid portrayal of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community in the movie
  • 17:13 Yiru shares her experience with Deaf education through music
  • 20:25 cochlear implants: Ruben and Xinke’s experiences
  • 26:00 the controversy around cochlear implants
  • 35:19 the significance of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing community
  • 38:05 What can we do to challenge ableism and audism in our day to day lives

【Guest introduction】

Xinke Liu (she/her) is the co-founder of a startup that provides medical-grade hearing aids for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. She wore hearing aids in her teenage years and underwent the procedure to have cochlear implants after college. She is currently based in China.

Yiru Chen (she/her) graduated from NYU Tisch School of the Arts with a major in Film and TV production and minors in Psychology and American Sign Language. She is currently a student of the MA program in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. She is an active member of both Shanghai and New York signing communities and her goal is to promote sign language education and arts in both countries. Her film “Handscape” has been screened at multiple film festivals in and out of China.

【Audio editor】

Joshua Ogden-Davis

【Too long didn’t listen】

This is not your typical story of a person overcoming hardship to find himself. It’s not even that inspirational. What it does achieve is portraying one aspect of the vastly diverse and complicated Deaf community to the mainstream hearing community. It’s up to us to learn and educate ourselves about the rest.

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