After a year in which the progressive media has been clucking incessantly about the need for inclusion and diversity at the Oscars, clamoring (almost demanding) that any of the films that made apologies to leftist causes—such as the gender ideology-laden The Power of the Dog—be awarded, CODA snuck in among the nominees without making much noise and ended up winning 3 statuettes for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor, and Best Picture.
CODA‘s win is a real slap in the face to the progressive woke culture, and it’s a shame that it won just the same year when all anyone is talking about is Will Smith’s infamous slap. It’s nice to see a film about a discriminated minority—in this case the deaf—that contains not a hint of victimhood and, more importantly and surprisingly, not only doesn’t call for government intervention, but also portrays bureaucrats as the villains of the film.
Based on the 2014 French film La Famille Bélier, in which the hearing daughter of a deaf family has to find her own way despite the fact that her parents and brother rely heavily on her and her hearing abilities, CODA adapts this same story of transitioning from youth to adulthood to a small Massachusetts fishing town.
Ruby (Emilia Jones) is 17 years old and the only hearing daughter in a family of deaf (Child of Deaf Adults, CODA) who are in the fishing business, the main economic sector of their town. Although her parents and brother more or less manage on their own in the only profession their family has known for generations, Ruby is a great help to them in easing their daily activities and communication with customers and suppliers.
Ruby joins the high school choir because the boy she likes has also joined, but once in the choir, she discovers her passion for singing, something that is totally foreign to her family. The choir director, Bernardo Villalobos (Eugenio Derbez) is very strict but fair. Instead of pitying and victimizing Ruby, he is very demanding with her, getting her to develop her potential through effort and discipline.
The demands of her goal to enter Boston’s prestigious Berklee College of Music clash with Ruby’s responsibilities to her family, which are compounded by new government regulations that require at least one hearing person to be included in her family’s fishing boat.
The Rossi’s are a working-class family who can barely make ends meet with an almost loss-making fishing business, and who now see how the government and a fishermen’s cooperative, more friendly to bureaucrats than to fishermen, are conspiring to increase their costs and reduce their income in an arbitrary and unfair way.
Faced with this desperate situation, the film offers as a solution a refreshing message of self-improvement, entrepreneurship and individual effort without any hint of victimhood, and the only thing it demands from the government is, in any case, to stop bothering.
CODA, alternative social cinema
This type of social cinema, in an overwhelming majority, is usually plagued by a leftist ideology that instrumentalizes the problems of supposedly discriminated minorities to show the government and its welfare policies as the only possible salvation, however CODA joins the select group of films — like Billy Elliot or Hillbilly Elegy — that launch an anti-Marxist message for those who can or want to listen to it.
CODA‘s individualistic, anti-government message will probably resonate more with the deaf community than with the rest of society, deafened by the incessant noise of leftist propaganda.
I hope that the Will Smith scandal at the Oscars will soon pass, and people will start talking again about cinema and CODA‘s well-deserved victory. Don’t miss it.