Cochlear ear implants can give the gift of hearing to children who are born without the ability to hear. But surprisingly, many in the deaf community are resistant to the medical advance, fearing the dissolution of a nurturing culture with its own social dynamic and deeply held values. This engrossing doc tracks two brothers, Peter Artinian (who is deaf) and Chris Artinian (who is not), and their families, as they research cochlear implants for their own children. Chris and his wife Mari begin to seriously consider the implant for one of their newborn twins, but deaf couple Peter and his wife Nita are heartbroken when they discover that their 5-year-old girl, who has two deaf two siblings, wants to have the surgery.
Aronson's doc tracks the interfamilial discussions between two sets of parents who have very passionate responses to a controversial procedure. There are no easy answers, and in the case of the Artinian family, the decision threatens to rend them apart. Chris and Mari fear losing their daughter to the land of the hearing, maintaining that their daughter is not handicapped, and can lead a productive life. Aronson's approach is even-handed, giving equal weight to both sides of the debate. An insightful, dramatic, and often anguished look at what we lose and what we gain from "medical miracles."