In the outskirts of London, Portuguese couple and parents of three, Bela and Jota, struggle to make ends meet. When a misunderstanding arises at school with their deaf daughter, the British social services grow concerned for the safety of their children. The film portrays the tireless battle of these immigrant parents against the law to keep their family together.
Cathy Come Home by the master of cinema Ken Loach, in 1966, told us the story of the descent into hell of a homeless family, generating at the time a powerful debate about the UK’s housing crisis and social services. Watching the film debut from Ana Rocha de Sousa, it appears things have not changed much since.
Listen shows us a different way of being in touch with people: with the voice - Portuguese, English - and for the deaf child Lu, our little protagonist, with her language of gestures.
The possibility to share different languages is essential to knowing other cultures and to communicating with them, to expressing empathy and comprehension. The imposition of just one language is equivalent to raising a wall. To “listen”, as the film’s title says, would be a warning to stop the noise of confusion and brutality and to try to understand the points of view of others.
Lúcia Moniz, Sophia Myles, Ruben Garcia, Maisie Sly, James Felner, Kiran Sonia Sawar