Sign Language – Short Film

Sign Language is a documentary style short film which follows a man called Ben throughout his work shift. My first impressions when coming across this film I thought it would be about being deaf and communication but I was wrong.

Ben is a jolly man that works in the busy streets of London as a sign holder. He looks and talks directly into the camera which feels like he is talking directly to you. This helps establish a bond between the viewer and the main character. Ben introduces his colleagues but they don’t really seem like his friends as they all look fairly miserable and uninterested. He then introduces a girl across the street which he likes called Anya, but he can’t speak to her as she is not part of his union. Besides this, he is very passionate about his work and he loves it. He is always happy, jolly and is always positive which makes his character likable.
As the film goes on Ben describes how it is like working in London and how beautiful it is which is a metaphor for what he thinks about Anya. Towards the end of the film when his shift ends, Ben expects to have some sort of send-off by his colleagues but they’re “too busy”. It then is a shock to the audience to then see all of them turn their signs around and reveal a message which encourages Ben to go talk to Anya.

I like the sound in this film as there are voiceovers used when Ben isn’t in the shot and there is a good use of atmospheric sounds such as footsteps and people talking. There is upbeat guitar music in the background which accompanies the jolly character of Ben. These sounds and music juxtapose the film as Ben’s colleagues and the weather look dull and miserable.

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