Film on DeafBlind woman made by sign language group in Kyoto

Konishi Kimiko (center) directs Haida Chiyoko (right) at Chiyoko's home during the shooting.

January 20, 2012

A sign language theater group in Kyoto is making the movie on the life of a DeafBlind woman, HAIDA Chiyoko (69), who played the leading role.

It is about her life-long struggle to regain the human relationship with people through the tactile sign language.

Saying "I want people to know how I have experienced pain and happiness," Chiyoko stood in front of the camera at her home where the shooting was taken. She was born Deaf and lost sight later about at the age of 50. Group members worked as a crew as well as a supporting actor.

Certified sign language interpreter KONISHI Kimiko (58) who wrote the scenario is the leader of the sign language theater group in Kyoto. She met Chiyoko 16 years ago, taking her out outside. She has learned the tactile sign language with Chiyoko, supporting her life, too.

Kimiko says, "since the support to Deafblind people lacks, many of them are isolated. They can regain hope by direct contact with people if there are understanding and a support."

Chiyoko and the group members embraced each other after the shooting was over. "Though I am unable to see the completed movie, I will remember our work, because we all shared every wonderful moment." Her eyes were wet with tears in the back of the sunglasses.

The film is being edited in order to run for 20 minutes to enter for "The Saga Deaf Film Festival," which the national sign language training center will host in Kyoto on February 25.

Japanese source: