From France, A Deaf Hero for America
Video Review by Chris Wixtrom © 1999
VHS 30 minutes, $29.95
Deaf French educator Laurent Clerc, along with Thomas Hopkins Gallaudet, a hearing American, founded the first school for the deaf in America, with funding from the parents of a bright, young, eager-to-learn deaf child, Alice Cogswell. The story of Clerc's life is told in this biographical video, giving us glimpses of this admired Deaf hero and his profound contribution to deaf education in America. Clerc's eloquent sign language skills, broad academic expertise, and commitment to excellence, in cooperation with Gallaudet's talent, dedication and determination, introduced a new era in the history of America's deaf people with the establishment of the first school for the deaf.
This video is presented in American Sign Language, captioning, and voice-over, with archival photos, artworks, and footage of Clerc's home town in France. Although the voiced narration falters a bit, and the production values of the video are not, as a whole, at the highest level, this video is a "must have" part of a basic library for anyone interested in Deaf History.