Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

"There’s a blatant challenge here to common expectations about the lives of Deaf and hearing-impaired people."

Jo (Vilma Jackson) can’t hear anybody when we meet her. She has music turned up loud on her headphones, intentionally cutting herself off from the world. When she reaches the library, the librarian has to sign to her to turn it down. There are, after all, other ways of ensuring peace and privacy here.

This is a library, not a pick-up joint. The librarian’s stern glance makes this very clear when bright-eyed blonde Sarah (Rose Ayling-Ellis) catches Jo’s eye over a bookstand and follows her to her table. But Jo is not about to let a girl like this slip away. Over the top of her copy of Don Quixote, she tries making whispered conversation. Sarah brushes back her hair to reveal a hearing aid. They show one another their library cards to exchange names, but what Jo really wants is her number. As Cervantes wrote, hope is always born at the same time as love.

The situation seems perfect. Almost. When it turns, Jo finds herself the outsider, excluded from Sarah’s fluent communication and comfortable world. There’s a blatant challenge here to common expectations about the lives of Deaf and hearing-impaired people; a wistful acceptance that sometimes lesbian experiences are exactly as the country songs describe them. Some joy might be found, however, in Jo’s spirited effort. After all, to return to the Don, it is perhaps maddest of all to see life as it is, and not as it should be.

Almost screened as part of the 2021 Scottish Queer International Film Festival.

Reviewed on: 09 Oct 2021
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Almost packshot
A woman meets the girl of her dreams in a library. Everything seems perfect - almost.

Director: Teresa Garratty

Writer: Teresa Garratty

Starring: Rose Ayling-Ellis, Nadeem Islam, Vilma Jackson, Rachael Merry

Year: 2020

Runtime: 5 minutes

Country: UK


SQIFF 2021

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