The Sign for Love

In his heartfelt documentary, co-director and subject Elad Cohen explores the meaning and experience of family. Growing up deaf and gay in a family of hearing people, Cohen never felt at home and always felt alone. That feeling of estrangement was exacerbated during his adolescence by the sudden death of his mother and the subsequent rift with his father as the family scattered in different directions. Cohen creates a sense of family with a small group of friends, including his best friend, Yaeli, a deaf woman. While he wants a child and a life partner, he fears that he won’t find the right man in the small deaf community in his “sweet little country.” Sharing a desire with Yaeli to be parents, the new “couple” decide to have a child in a shared parenting arrangement.

Clips from Cohen’s childhood are interspersed with footage of family members and friends and his day-to-day life. As new parents, they soon realize the naïveté in their expectations about bringing up a baby together. Their journey reveals the challenges of parenting, the bias against deaf individuals and the intricacies of human relationships. Ultimately their newborn helps Cohen become a more complete person and allows him to mend his relationship with his own father. —Michele Lynn

Elad Cohen, graduate of the Bezalel Acadamey for Art and Design in the visual communications department, is a cameraman and illustrator, and an actor in children's plays at the "Na Lagaat" Center. During the last few years Elad has participated in documentary filmmaking courses, following which he has initiated and created a documentary film based on his life.

Iris Ben Moshe, 28, is a graduate of the Tel Aviv University Cinema department in the production course and an MA student in the research track of gender studies at the university. Nowadays she deals with directing, editing shooting and line producing. In addition, she has served as an interpreter in Israeli sign language for seven years and functions as the head of the Israeli sign language interpreter organization.

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Costanza Film Distribution, Asaf Yecheskel: