Selection 1 - THE TUBA THIEVES

27 March, 2024 - 20:0030 March, 2024 - 11:00
Sphinx Cinema


WED 27 MARCH 20:00

For the opening night a presale ticket is required. For guests and holders of an accreditation, a reservation is required.


> Languages: American Sign Language, English spoken, English subtitles

The film uses a visual language to tell the story, using closed captions to make the viewer aware of the surrounding sound. During the film, the audience can, if desired, hold a balloon to have an experience of this sound in the film.  

The film is briefly introduced with the support of a Flemish Sign Language interpreter. The film uses American Sign Language and is subtitled in English.

The Tuba Thieves

Alison O’Daniel

From 2011 to 2013, a string of puzzling burglaries took place in Southern California: tubas went missing from a dozen high schools. This genre-defying debut film was sparked by these events. Imagining what a band might sound like stripped of its deepest sound, the visual artist and filmmaker Alison O’Daniel, who identifies as d/Deaf, asks what it means to listen. The film winds through storylines blending documentary, narrative, and reenactment — one centered on a Deaf drummer playing a fictionalized version of herself, another following the school communities dealing with the theft — with ingenious interpretations of history-making concerts, from John Cage’s 4’33” to the last punk show at San Francisco’s Deaf Club (organized by filmmaker and artist Bruce Conner), interspersed throughout. A story told through sound and its absence, The Tuba Thieves embraces the possibility of miscomprehension and delay in a meditation on access and loss. Featuring a cinematic experience of Los Angeles rarely seen — or heard — before, and incorporating open captions as a rich narrative space, O’Daniel’s work is profound in its prompt for (hearing) audiences to tune in differently.


Ultimately, this film is a meditation on access and loss, and an investigation into what it means to steal, make, lose, own, protest against and legislate sound, and therefore inversely quiet and peace. The history of sound segregations is deeply embedded into the city through the design and mediation of sound. These choices declare an ownership over space and air, how sound travels through these substrates and who is allowed or obligated to hear it.” (Alison O’Daniel)


language: American Sign Language, English