THE END (UK)

 

Starting in the 1980s, Ted Evan’s ‘The End’ follows four Deaf children over 60 years. After the introduction of a treatment aimed at eradicating deafness, the very survival of Deaf language and culture is at stake. Featuring an ensemble cast, The End is a thought-provoking alternative vision of the future.

 

Arron

Hello

 

Arron

My name is Arron and this is my sign name

I am 9 years old

 

Luke

My name is Luke and I am 9.

 

Mohammed

My name is Mohammed and I’m 9 years old.

 

Sophia

My name is Sophia and I am 9 and a half

 

Teacher

As you get older, you’ll find things that you like doing, and things that you don’t like doing.

So, now I’d like you to draw what you might want to be in the future. Okay.

 

Sophia

When I grow up I want to be a teacher.

 

Arron

When I grow up I want to be the first Deaf policeman.

My dad said I can, he said Deaf people can do anything.

 

Luke

When I grow up I want to work on really big computers.

 

Teacher

That’s a great picture. What’s the picture of?

 

Mohammed

It’s a picture of a scientist

 

Teacher

A scientist? Oh wow.

That’s what you want to do in the future?

 

Arron

My parents are both Deaf.

 

Luke

My Mum is hearing

 

Sophia

I have an older brother and a younger sister, and all my family are hearing.

 

Mohammed

My family are all hearing

 

Sophia

I think in the future things will be better for Deaf people as technology will improve

 

Luke

In the future robots will be everywhere

 

Arron

Things will definitely be better in the future, because things are always being improved

 

Prof. Mark Shaw

Hi I’m Mark

 

Interviewer

Pleasure to meet you

 

Prof. Mark Shaw

And you.

 

Interviewer

Thank you so much for your time.

 

Prof. Mark Shaw

Not at all, I told my daughter I was going to be on telly today so

 

Interviewer

You guys must be very excited

 

Prof. Mark Shaw

We are very excited. I mean it has been years of very hard work, and it is great to see some results coming through

 

Arron

I’ve heard of the treatment.

They came to school and gave a talk about the treatment.

It’s everywhere: in the papers, on television and in magazines.

 

Prof. Mark Shaw

Some years ago we started looking at how Stem Cell Regeneration can be applied to cure illness such as liver failure. Now we’ve turned in towards impairments such as deafness. The trials we ran in other countries were very promising, and if the pilot test we are running here show that a lasting cure for deafness is possible then I can tell you, we as medical professionals are very excited.

 

Sophia

Not heard much about the treatment. My Mum and Dad speak about it. I heard Mo had it. I haven’t seen him for years. There is stuff on the TV about it. But I am not really bothered.

 

Arron

I went to a Deaf school but it closed and I had to go to a mainstream school near home. I hated it, it was awful.

I know it’s a special needs school here, and it’s very slow and boring but at least it’s not the mainstream school.

 

Sophia

It’s a good school here but the girls are a bit stuck up. I just get on with my work.

I’m getting a good education so I must be grateful.

 

Luke

There is no communication at school and when I get home no one signs at home.

Don’t see people much.

Not many deaf.

 

Sophia

I don’t see many Deaf friends. I see Arron a bit.

 

Arron

Now that all the deaf schools have closed, it’s especially difficult for deaf people.

 

Prof. Mark Shaw

Unfortunately, I’m not in a position to get involved in a discussion about culture or the implications for deaf culture. Our goal is to develop medical solutions to problems.

If that gives people a choice to improve their lives then great. It’s still down to them to make the choice.

And that’s all we can facilitate, a choice.

 

Arron

Doesn’t interest me really. I understand if you are disabled it can help you but I’m not disabled, I’m Deaf.

 

Crowd

We’ll fight for our rights. We have to stop them from wiping us out!

 

Julia Gillard

Hello Julia Gillard, pleased to meet you.

Beautiful day yes, have you had to come far?

 

Camera crew

Ok, camera’s rolling and sound speed

 

Julia Gillard

All we want is to give deaf men, women and children the opportunity to enjoy the world as everyone else does.

I respect that people who have been deaf for a number of years may be worried that the treatment will change their lives and their culture. I can assure them, we are not pressurizing people into having the treatment.

However, any ill feeling towards the treatment does not give the more anti-social element within the deaf community the right to disturb the peace. Nor does it give them the right to abuse or threaten people who only want to give deaf citizens the choice to make their lives better.

 

Arron

We’ve been together for about 8 or 9 years.

 

Sophia

10 years next July!

 

Arron

Lucky guy aren’t I?

 

Sophia

Aaron is one the ‘Defenders of the Deaf’ he’s passionate about the movement.

 

Unknown 1

Murderer! Shame on you!

 

Unknown 2

Did you get that?!

 

Unknown 3

We will not be forced into treatment!

 

Unknown 4

We will not be second class citizens!

 

Luke

I don’t care if Deaf people are against the treatment. I’ve said this before the Deaf world is small.

I think the treatment would change my life and help me get better.

I could get a better job, talk to anyone, talk to girls.

Everything would be better.

 

Customer

Excuse me, where are the dishwasher tablets? Sorry.

 

Luke

My social worker says I should think about it.

I’m fed up with life like this and I think I want to be treated

The Deaf world is too small and it’s vanishing, there are not many people left and there’s nothing left for me.

 

Arron

We are not against people having the treatment if that’s what they want. However we are against Deaf people who get treated and get left behind.

They have no access to education, employment or politics at all.

Animals have more rights than us.

 

Unknown 1

We are fighting for our Deaf culture!

 

Unknown 2

Save our Deaf culture.

 

Unknown 2

I’m free

 

Sophia

I believe in what Arron is fighting for… I do.

But I want to have a good life and I want us to be happy.

 

Mohammed

No, I don’t miss being deaf at all

I’m lucky, I can communicate with everyone and anyone I want.

I can hear like everyone else.

I’ve got perfect hearing.

No, I’ve not looked back.

Yeah. I’m extremely thankful to my parents for getting me treated.

Although we don’t really talk about it much.

Not in my culture, you don’t talk about it, being disabled.

Why would you no want to hear?

It’s like saying you don’t want to see.

My granddad is partially deaf.

He didn’t get this chance.

He would have done anything, anything to have this treatment.

 

Arron

No way!

There’s nothing wrong with me.

My parents were Deaf and it is part of my genes.

If there is a God, he made me this way.

I will not change myself for my job, the government or society.

I’m proud to be deaf.

 

Police

You can’t stay here.

Madam. You need to move along now please.

 

Unknown 1

It’s not fair what they’re doing to us!

 

Police

Let’s do this peacefully, please

 

Unknown 1

What!

 

Julia Gillard

If the child I was expecting was going to be born deaf I for one would welcome the opportunity to give my child the best possible chance to thrive in this world.

The fact we can offer this treatment and subsequent therapies free of charge on the National Health Service, gives everyone this chance.

 

Unknown 1

I’m free

 

Passenger

Waterloo station please.

 

Arron

She wanted a better job and a better future.

I couldn’t understand or get on with her new friends of her new colleagues .

They were so patronising.

I didn’t want an interpreter.

I wanted a wife.

I wanted Sophia.

Deaf people are disappearing.

There hasn’t been a baby born Deaf for twenty years.

The best thing I can do is just get on with my life.

Babies are now all born hearing

 

Max Cunningham

We aren’t forcing the treatment on people but we are saying that their lives would be considerably better off.

Ever since 2019 when the Labour government introduced quotas on the number of deaf people claiming benefits and those that qualified for specialist support, Kramer Corporation has stepped up its efforts to make life better for deaf and hard of hearing people.

With the corporation of both the public and financial sector we’ve been able to offer those, unfortunate people, who can’t afford the treatment a reasonable scale of payment all at a favourable interest rate, as not to cripple themselves any further.

Can you say fairer than that in this day and age?

I don’t think so.

 

Luke

I got treated in 2009.

It was my birthday present to myself.

I thought if I had the treatment done, it would make my life better.

And now they say I have a problem with expressing myself.

The only problem is that I ignored what was wrong with me.

When I finished my speech therapy I had all my benefits removed.

 

Max Cunningham

How much longer is this going to take?

Well I’ve already been here 5 minutes.

You said five minutes.

Ok.

And as for questions on Deaf culture

I would say that culture like life itself evolves.

All we have done is offer the Deaf society an opportunity to evolve.

If our legacy is to contribute to a better society by dramatically increasing the quality of people’s lives, then I for one can handle any negativity.

Our conscience is clear.

 

Luke

I think the Government thought it was cheaper to cure lots of people instead of carrying on forking out for benefits and access.

In the public us, they were helping us, they were fixing us

But they didn’t fix me.

You can fix ears and stuff but you can’t fix what’s going on in here.

 

Arron

I would never be treated to change myself.

I’m happy to be Deaf.

My life is peaceful now and I’m still Deaf.

I haven’t seen a Deaf person for eight years

I’ve spoken to a few deaf people from around the world online.

I haven’t met any Deaf people, there’s few of them and I don’t know how many are left.

 

Hedi Gibson

We’re here to check up on Arron and to see how we can help him with his health and generally to make sure he’s ok.

We wanted to make sure you were ok and to see if you thought about what we discussed last time.

He’s very unique.

But, fortunately we have the technology to be able to communicate with him.

 

Arron

I’m fine and still have not changed my mind

Sorry if I am wasting your time.

 

Hedi Gibson

Well, Arron is officially the last Deaf person in Britain, after other deaf people have either passed away or been treated.

So he is quite a special person and we are just here to make sure we keep him happy.

 

Arron

Me?

 

Hedi Gibson

Yes.

 

Arron

I’m the last Deaf person in the UK…

I’m the last one in the UK or in the world?

It does not feel real to me and it is very sad.

I knew Deaf people would vanish all together one day… but I didn’t expect to be the last one.

I have no regrets in my life but I was very stubborn and angry when I was young.

There are more important things in life such as love and friendship.

I have been filmed for this since I was nine.

I don’t know if I’ll still be here in 15 or 20 years’ time.

Deaf culture has been around from the beginning we were always there, maybe put to one side, but Deaf people were beautiful the language was beautiful, and I’m very proud to be a part of Deaf culture.

Deaf people are beautiful.

I am Deaf.