Education of the Deaf
See also: Triumph Over Deafness

Still from 'Education of the Deaf' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1947-50'
'Until recently deaf children were also dumb because they could not hear any sound to imitate. Now they are sent to special free schools where they are taught to speak and to use what hearing they may have, augmented with hearing aids. This treatment is superseding finger-language. It encourages sufferers to mix more freely with others, and the children grow up as normally as possible.' [1]

Date: 1946
Duration: 48:25

Director: Jack Ellitt
Production Company: D.A.T.A. Films[2]
Producer: Donald Alexander
Cinematographer: Wolfgang Suschitzky
Composer: Ludwig van Beethoven
Narration: David Lloyd-James
Editor: -
Sound Recording: John Woodiwiss
Assistant Editor: E. Mason
Assistant Camera: L. Griffiths

Length: 35mm: 3000ft. 16mm: 1200ft.

Made in conjunction with:
Department of Education of the Deaf, Manchester University.
The Royal Residential Schools for the Deaf, Manchester.
The Christie Hospital, Manchester.


Triumph Over Deafness is a shortened version of this film, intended for a less specialised audience.

Wolfgang Suschitzky is actually listed under the attribution of 'Photography' in the film's titles credits. This is notable as Suschitzky is also well known for his photographic work, some of which can be seen HERE.

The only difference in the titles credits between Triumph Over Deafness and Education of the Deaf is that the sound recording for this title was done by John Woodiwiss, whereas it was A.G. "Buster" Ambler on Triumph Over Deafness.

Still from 'Education of the Deaf' - Taken from 'Films of Britain 1946'
Education of the Deaf
Distributors: British Council
Producers: D.A.T.A. Films
Director: Jack Ellitt
Director of Photography: Earl Griffith
Commentary Written by: Jack Ellitt and David Lloyd-James
4500ft / 50mins

Documentary. This film was made at the Royal Residential Schools for the Deaf and Blind at Manchester and at Manchester University, which is believed to be the only University in the world to have a Chair and research department devoted to the education of the deaf. We are first shown a bust of Beethoven and we hear the Ninth Symphony, which was composed after he became deaf. Throughout the rest of the film we are given an insight into the efforts which have been made to overcome the disability of deafness and the almost unbelievable success which has been achieved. Mrs Wilson's hearing has been steadily deteriorating. She becomes more and more isolated in the lonely world of her own. She goes to Manchester University and tests are made in order to discover the causes of her deafness, so that it may either be treated or, failing that, that she may be supplied with aids most suitable to her case. She, however, has not always been deaf and has the immense advantage of knowing how to speak. More difficult is the case of children who have been deaf or partially deaf from birth. In the old days these children usually grew up and remained deaf and dumb throughout their lives. In this film we are shown all that has been done to obviate this, so that, as the children grow up, they are enabled to live as normal a life as possible and to take their place in the world as useful citizens. We are shown how the work is carried out, first with the infants, then with the older children. Those who are totally deaf are separated from those who are only partially so. We see the methods which are used to make it possible to follow a normal school curriculum but, at the same time, continually to improve the children's speech and their ability to lip-read. This film is the full-length version. There is a 22-minute version for the less specialised audience, but even if one belongs to the latter category and although the film may seem a little diffuse at times, the extraordinary interest and poignancy of the subject holds one's attention throughout. The shots are extremely well selected, the photography excellent. Most of the film is a factual record and entirely unrehearsed and there is a complete naturalness on the part of all those who appear in the film. We receive the impression of a rare devotion on the part of the teachers and doctors and others in charge of the work and earnest, cheerful co-operation on the part of the children. This is a film which is deserving of very high praise.
Suitability: A, B, C.
  1. ^ Films of Britain - British Council Film Department Catalogue - 1947-50
  2. ^ 'Documentary And Technicians Alliance'
  3. ^ 31 August 1946
    Feature Length Documentary and Interest Films
    Great Britain
    Index to Vol.13 / No.s 145-156 / 1945-46
    Monthly Film Bulletin of the BFI