I had the amazing opportunity to get an early glimpse of the film When I Stutter, directed and produced by John Gomez, and boy it did not disappoint! It touched on many different aspects of stuttering such as the science behind why we stutter (still relatively unknown), the emotional impact it has on individuals, the barriers people face because of stuttering, how it’s perceived in the media, and how it effects people’s relationships with others. Lots of people shared their stuttering stories, including speech therapists, moms, students, professors, managers, teens, and more.
This is the first film I’ve seen that is solely about stuttering. Isn’t that crazy? 3 million Americans stutter yet there is hardly anything out there to show for it. Unfortunately, I think it’s because the way stuttering is shown in the media is vastly different than its reality. When I Stutter discusses the ways stuttering is portrayed on the big screen – from comedic sketches to disastrous life disabilities – and how it’s never truly explained for what it is. This was the first stuttering film I’ve seen where I was literally exclaiming “Yes, exactly!” out loud as I watched it, ha!
Related: Stuttering in the Media
Another part of the film that I really liked was seeing one man’s journey through speech therapy. His pattern contained tons of fillers and retrials and he had fairly low confidence. After a while of being in therapy, he gained enough confidence to call up a restaurant and advertise his stutter and actually show some stuttering to the listener, which was a huge success! It was truly a heartwarming moment for me, and I think others will appreciate it as well.
Last, but certainly not least, another part of this film I enjoyed was the discussion of how stuttering can easily distort someone’s reputation. One of the stories told was about this young man, an incredibly intelligent engineer at Cal Tech (which is a top tier engineering school), who had many people question his intellectual abilities solely because of his stutter. People thought he was slow, nervous, and didn’t know how to formulate a sentence. This was heartbreaking and frustrating to watch because it’s so common; many people who stutter are constantly questioned about their intellectual abilities because of the way they speak. And that should NOT be the case!
Overall, I thought it was a fantastic film that touched on a lot of different parts about stuttering. I could go on for pages and pages, but I gotta leave some things a surprise! I will definitely be showing my friends and family this film when it’s available to the general public this summer. It’s an eye-opening story and a great educational opportunity for those who don’t stutter or don’t know much about stuttering. If you want to learn more about the production of the film, and where it is currently screening, follow Keen Eye Productions on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. You can also check out the official Facebook page for the film here. If you’ve see the film, tell me your thoughts in the comments below!
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