Zoom Focus: Confession

An historical drama set during Victorian England

Historical drama exploring issues in Deaf education. Confession’s central characters are inventor Alexander Graham Bell and his deaf wife, Mabel. The film looks at Graham Bell’s hostility to sign language and shows the effect of his ideas on grass-roots Deaf people.  When Mabel sees the limitations of a non-signing educational approach for herself, her presumptions are challenged. Starring Deaf actress Sophie Stone as Mabel, Confession is the second film by director Julian Peedle-Calloo, made as part of the BSLBT’s Zoom Focus scheme.

How many of our sign language dramas have you seen? Check out all of our longer dramas by clicking here!

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CONFESSION: BEHIND THE SCENES

CONFESSION: PROMO

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  • I volunteer at Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and am learning BSL. This is a fascinating documentary about a shocking piece of history; needs to be sent to all teachers of history, communications, drama, BSL. How misguided Bell was, but how fortunate that the majority of people didn't share his warped views. Wonderful also that BSL was recognised in 2003 as  language in it's own right and babies can now have their names registered in BSL!
    Posted on
    160627
  • Very interesting, I was surprised to learn the truth about Alexander Graham Bell. I remember the teacher at oral school hit my hands with a ruler for signing. My parents transferred me to a hearing school after I learned how to talk with good speech. My parents forbid me to go to Gallaudet College because of the deaf students with signing language. My parents were afraid that I will lose my speech.
    Posted on
    151112
  • I spent my first 6 years at an oral day school for the deaf. Every time I used to sign for a single word, they would punish me by hitting my hands with a ruler (now I have arthritis in my hands) or pulling my hair til it hurts or denying me the monthly treat that my classmates made. When I was almost 11, I was transferred to a school for the deaf where sign language was allowed. This was a brand new world for me and I went on to college earning a bachelor's degree and then a master's degree and I taught for 39 years. Sign Language is God's gift to deaf people. It widens the avenue of learning. I wish I had sign language from the time I was born. Then there would be complete communication between myself and my parents/siblings from the beginning. I knew of so many deafies who grew up orally and many of them are not successful. All my classmates at the oral school were not at all successful like me. I was really glad to acquire sign language when I was almost 11. I married a wonderful deaf man who has a hearing son, 3 hearing grandkids and 8 hearing great grandkids.
    Posted on
    151020
  • Excellent!
    Posted on
    151009
  • This site and all the short stories are superb! Such education to be gleaned from all sections and contributors to this are to be commended for all their endeavours. It has truly paid off! I will certainly be recommending this invaluable resource to all fellow students :)
    Posted on
    151006
  • Love this story. Thank you!
    I hope for more historical short films during that time.
    Posted on
    150924
  • inspiring story for all of us...
    Posted on
    150908
  • We have watch movie and good. I like it. Any have can send this please video
    Posted on
    150901
  • Would like to see this in it's entirely (only up to 5 mins as am here in the USA) as would be a good film to show my sign language students. Will check into seeing it in its complete showing. My parents (as well as I) suffered the aftermaths of AGB's influence on Deaf Education here in the USA. Grew up in the Akron, OH Deaf community & saw so many incidents of Deaf people being denied employment and services as well as blatant attitudes toward them. Thank God those days are behind us! But we still have much work to do. As for Rev. Francis Magimm (sp) did research on his being one of the British Isles Deaf men who attended Gallaudet College (now University) from the 1860's-1910's.... so he is a familiar individual. Thanks! Nla
    Posted on
    150818
  • Wonderful film:! Casting and acting superb; hope eveyone, hearing and deaf and children of all ages will watch.
    Posted on
    150818
  • very interested in the history and culture of the deaf world and its development
    Posted on
    150818
  • Another great video by BSL Zone. I showed this video to my class during the Victorians topic and they found it really interesting.
    Posted on
    150427
  • video very helpful and informative
    Posted on
    150407
  • Enjoyed every minutes of the films I have watched.
    Posted on
    150114
  • Terrific Movie! Love every minute of it!
    Posted on
    141229
  • I love your films and miss the BSL community now that I am living abroad. Thank you for such wonderful and thought provoking programmes.
    Posted on
    141224
  • Beautifully made film and the cast was amazing!! Loved this.
    Posted on
    141020
  • such a great short film. it brought a lot of insight and emotions about Bell's Oralism movement.

    great actors and i love watching them sign!
    Posted on
    141020
  • I am amazing to watch Deaf History and True Deaf stories. Alexander G Bell was defintely cruel to ban BSL. His wife was lovely but she suffere.

    I would love to buy lots of DVD about Deaf History.

    Thank you

    Joy Rawlings
    Posted on
    141020
  • 1. I strongly disliked the fact that Alexander Graham Bell was in favor of promoting oralism to the point where he was trying to make the deaf community extinct.

    2. I liked that the woman stood up for herself and her fiancé. She deserves to have the same happiness as anyone else. No one should be discriminated against especially for something that they have no control over and were probably born with. I was very impressed that she did not cave into societies pressures for her to try to find a hearing husband so her children would be hearing.
    3. It absolutely broke my heart to see that young boy sign that he wished that he had never been born. No child should ever be made to feel that they are unimportant or less than human because of skills that they can never possess such as hearing.
    4. I cannot imagine being in school and having a teacher abuse you for trying to communicate in the only way that you know how. To hit a child for signing is absolutely inexcusable. Children need all the encouragement they can get especially because life is hard they need people in their corner rooting for them to succeed and giving them all the tools necessary.
    5. Alexander's view of the deaf community signified to me a level of ignorance. You cannot know how hard someone's life is until you have walked a mile in their shoes. He never had to experience not being able to hear so how could he possibly think that oralism would benefit everyone. It may make things easier for those in the hearing community but for the deaf community it just isolated them more and hurt their self esteem. People deserve to be treated with common courtesy and respect, and they most certainly should not be referred to as deaf.
    Posted on
    140402
  • I never knew that such a great inventor could be so biased/closed minded to the Deaf Community, even though he was married to a deaf woman!

    Thank you BSL Zone for teaching me something new, every time I come on here!
    Posted on
    140321
  • This is a brilliant film, I am currently learning sign language and this gave a me a great incite into how the Deaf community suffered but still persevered to live how they want to. It is a huge learning curve for the hearing community, it was an eye opener for sure.
    Posted on
    140311
  • Good acting. I enjoyed the movie. Wow, I didn't know the attitude of British towards other languages were also the same with the Deaf community! I can't believe a man as intelligent as Alexander Bell could believe such a perverted view. I wonder where the New Zealand attitude towards oralism had come from, now I know.
    Posted on
    140311
  • Hi.

    This is story history about fight oralism and sign language.
    Posted on
    140219
  • wonderful preformation and excellent drama, surprise it is true story amazing about graham bell is not support Deaf people to do signing.

    like to show my family to see how hard deaf childrens to learned hard way.

    well done
    Posted on
    140219
  • Hallo,
    I like this movie very much.
    I would like to buy a DVD from confession, but I cannot find where.
    I am from Berlin, Germany. It would be great to have the movie here to show him a lot of people.
    Could you give me some information and contact?

    Thank you
    Michaela Caspar
    Posted on
    131011
  • What a lovely little film! I have shared it with some of my hearing friends to help them understand the history of deaf/hearing, sign/oral issues. Thank you for making & sharing it :)
    Posted on
    131007
  • This is such a valuable film for both the Deaf and hearing communities. I'm grateful you made this. Another brilliant production by Neath Films!
    Posted on
    130717
  • I never knew about Graham Bell was talk about Deaf oralism , Only i know about his inventory of telephone ..

    Good explain

    Make me laugh about wedding cute

    Keeping good work

    Posted on
    130717
  • wow awesome, thank you

    Iceland :)
    Posted on
    130717
  • Just saw it for the first time today after too busy travelling around. Then one Saturday afternoon stayed home because of snowy.. I just update BSL Zone website and to my surprised there is filming 'Confession' which I play as background extra as wedding guest at the back of the church. Catch me if you can !. It is pleasure to watching this filming and like to share to all my friends in facebook.

    Thanks to all the teamwork to make this film happened and be proud to be part of it.

    Happy viewing :-)

    David Pilkington
    London, Untied Kingdom
    Posted on
    130415
  • I like it ! Fabulous short movie. I wish like it on France ! I'm a deaf historian of France, and we need these movies to understand the situation. That's a good movie ! But, if you will produce it on DVD, don't forget french subtitles, very much french deaf people will buy it !
    Posted on
    130312
  • Fabulously constructed piece: great attention to the formalities and debates of the day, well acted and informative. It that has certainly opened me up to the truth about the vicious bigotries of the man. Some of the contrivances-for-narrative stuck out: The central story of Bell interrupting the wedding especially. Ok, so we get that this is what he was doing in metaphor, like seeing Tony Blair with an Uzi in a reconstruction of the invasion of Baghdad, but it's a full-on costume drama so anime cinema narrative isn't really suited. Can anyone verify that this scene actually happened as told? Otherwise, well done on a film about how high society sleaze ruins the lives of struggling-to-survive people around them. And so, so much more. - AL
    Posted on
    121226
  • I am hearing and learning sign language late in life. I want to work in the mental health sector and realised that the deaf community disproprotionally suffers in society, with so few people able to 'listen' to what they want to say. This film clip answered a question I had about Bell's participation in the push towards oralism. All I can say is that it was an insensitive period of 'manifest destiny' and large scientific theories in small arrogant hands. The cultures which invaded and colonised other territories had no compunction to use eugenic principles on their fellow members. I thank goodness that Bell's eugenic inspired bill did not get passed. Sad, Sad story.
    Posted on
    121124
  • This was something I shall never forget. Thank you for this short film. It is/was very emotional.. Loved it.
    Posted on
    121124
  • want more know about BSL and Deaf Peoples
    Posted on
    121124
  • This is great, love de historical content of it. Is it goijng to be translated to other languages? I think that migth be interesting.

    Congratulations !!!
    Posted on
    121112
  • Hello, good days! I am called Esther of Spanish woman. I write to them because I am very interested in "Stranger" obtained the movie " The end ", "Confession", "The End", " September 11th ", crossing the Little divides ", history of deaf educatión 1, " " with subitutlos in Castilian. Please me to send it to the Association of Deaf Persons of the Rioja c/Fundicción, 7 Bis Bajo Logrono (La Rioja) Spanish Cp: 26002 A saludito:-)!!
    Posted on
    121105
  • Hello,
    I am Deaf and I am writing from France to congratulate you on your site and on the movie about Graham Bell. I practice poor English ... How to find the French translation or French subtitles of the movie?
    Congratulations and good luck !
    Bachir
    Posted on
    121105
  • Handshake Applause!!!! Awesome film!
    Posted on
    121025
  • Very well done. However, people should understand this was very much a FICTIONAL (not true) story. The biggest "untruth" is the portrait of Mabel as someone who signed and knew the benefits of sign language. In reality, she loathed Deaf people, and nothing humiliated her more than to be lumped together with them -- she actually called them "Barnum monstrosities" (meaning, freak-show monsters).

    Suggest you read a review of the best biography of Bell, in which the reviewer describes what Mabel was really like: http://www.booksincanada.com/article_view.asp?id=4682

    Nonetheless, congratulations on a really excellent production!
    Posted on
    121025
  • Posted on
    121025
  • When I went to the deaf school in the last 1977-1981 but no one teacher for sciences, technology, ecology & environment, design and body biology and no enough lip reading teacher because some teacher was lazy for teach lip reading. I want deaf and hearing all must same education for equal and GCSE exams for equal.
    Posted on
    121025
  • It is about time this pivotal story be told. The impact of the Milan Conference is seen daily, as the year 2012 comes to a close. Parents are still being told that if their child Signs, he or she will not speak. The film demonstrates the importance of Sign Language in learning and comprehension. Sign Language is engaging, as is any language. Please continue this good work. Tell the entire story, beginning some two thousand years ago. Connect the dots, so to speak. This is not an either or matter. It is one that must be inclusive. One, that must include and embrace the Sign Language of each country. One that is committed to bilingual teaching, learning and communicating and acceptance of others who communicate differently. In the USA, that would be ASL-English. The opportunity to engage in multiple languages is phenomenal. ASL-English-Spanish for example or ASL-English-Japanese. The selections are immense. At times, here, it seems as if the Milan Conference took place yesterday. Please continue your good work.
    Posted on
    121025
  • HI I love this movie and it made me curious about this movie. Can anyone tell me where I get hand on this DVD of this Movie, so i can buy it... Let me know ASAP thanks.. Congrat to England folks who made this movie..
    Posted on
    121025
  • How can this film to be credited saying all this has happened to them.

    Full story is not TOTALLY TRUE at all. Film company should legalize this before reaching a decision to say all this has happened and what happened to their lives. Where is legal credit?

    This film is good to watch, very history and bit of deaf educational, somewhat a children story-tale there. BUT remember the story is not verified or evidently recorded or base on a true event.

    The film director should pointed very out clearly on film credit. I think is bit all watering there to say this has happened to them. Story is always complicated with 'histories' or to say what is true.

    Next time, BSLBT should look into LEGAL duties before releasing the film across the globe.

    A nice fictional written, enjoyable to watch but women marrying a kid...laughable.
    Posted on
    121025
  • I truly enjoyed watching the film, because there was something in the story that helped me see the light of what I recall about Mabel. Something was bugging me for a very long time about her. When I was a professor teaching ASL and Deaf Culture at one of the universities in Washington DC, the library had a display of Mabel's diary and samples of her correspondences. I was amused by the fact that her English was typically deaf -- not to say it all that bad. She had a good grasp of the language. Essentially, I saw that there may have been problems in her relationship with her ignorant husband. So, what was she really like? The story did a wonderful job revealing that. Sadly, members of the organization named after him, AGDAD, are so utterly deaf and blind to the reality of our well-being. Bravo!

    See my website: curtdeafpoet.com for your pleasure.

    Curt Robbins
    Posted on
    121018
  • Hola, estoy interesado en algunos videos que han subido, quisiera saber como puedo obtenerlos gracias
    Posted on
    121018
  • very interesdting and I need order sowhere can i find as I am in Austrlai cheer up
    Posted on
    121018
  • Quality of film is excellent but story is full of twisted. It is not nice way to make fiction movie about alexandra graham bell. this movie gave wrong bad message! Keep in Mind, This is fiction movie. I have no idea about this movie's motive. Movie-maker must be a liar!
    Posted on
    121018
  • I was born hearing and lost aged 3 so. I thank my mother who believe that I belong Deaf World. She refuse stop me for ASL as sign language. I am hard of hearing but I belolng to Deaf World that I proudly of. I involved as many as round 500 deaf friends. So, I have 2 hearing children. That's so sad to force no sign to deaf children to read lips as parrots control. I never like to input them to hearing world. But I do enjoy what hearing people's living things. God's create to deaf for HIS purpose for deaf things. We have to accept as deaf are. We happy as deaf 's things. Enjoy as you can for change. Amen!
    Posted on
    121018
  • Wow, this is a wonderful production. I am hearing and my younger brother is deaf. I watched him struggle to understand in his mainstream school years. He struggled at home with parents who refused to sign and made him speak. He eventually went to Iowa School for the Deaf and blossomed! I was also amazed at how different he became when using his natural language. I applaud this production!!

    Posted on
    121018
  • Oh, my. Oh, my!!
    Posted on
    121012
  • JUST FIND ITS SO WONDERFUL ; ITS NEED SIGN LANGUAGE ; ITS NEED ASSISTANCE FOR HELPING DEAF COULD BE UNDERSTAND BETTER. JUST KEEP IT;
    ITS SO GOOD COMMUNITY..
    Posted on
    121012
  • Old day school I was taught to look up Graham Bell for inventory of phone and nobody mentioned of his anti Deaf cultures and sign languages. Shame him! This movie tell all about this person I never knew!
    Posted on
    121012
  • ENHORABUENA!!!! LA PELICULA ES FANTASTICO.

    ME GUSTO MUCHO. YO TAMBIEN SOY SORDO (ESPAÑOL)

    LO SIENTO MUCHO NO HABLO INGLES

    GOOD NICE FILM......
    Posted on
    121012
  • I'm proud to become Deaf Community and Social and I'm Hard of Hearing but I'm support Deaf Community forever will never be GONE.
    Posted on
    121011
  • I cried. I became angry. I applauded. I loved it ;-)
    Such a great film.
    Posted on
    121011
  • We need to send those films to the governments whoever working trying to close deaf schools. They have no right to close school. They learn so much better at deaf school with deaf teachers
    Posted on
    121009
  • I can hear and I wish everybody knew sign language. Example: driving down the street, someone has low air tire, you could sign to to them that they needed to put air in their tire.
    When you were a baby, you learned sign language by waving "Hi" and "Bye bye". It should be continued as we grow up.
    My hearing grandchildren learned from me the sign, I love you. When I had them out in public and they would be restless ond/or noisy, I would sign to them to be quiet or wait. It was a wonderful way to "talk" to them without making a scene.
    If everyone knew sign language, we wouldn't have a problem "talking" to each other across the room or in a noisy environment. There are more benefits to knowing sign language.
    Posted on
    121008
  • This movie was so beautiful. Please spread to anyone in the world that Deaf people must to sign language forever. Be proud that sign language still beautiful!
    Posted on
    121008
  • Lets show this video to oral schools for deaf and hard-headed genuises to be. Bible says Babel Tower incident creates many different languages. WHY BANNED HAND SIGN LANGUAGE???
    Posted on
    121008
  • That video brought me into tears. I thank God for beautiful ASL! Yes, I was oralist and I grew up with hearing parents who had hard time choosing best school for me. Sigh. Thank you for the best video! Will DVD be released? Thank you!
    Posted on
    121005
  • That's an interesting story. I never knew the deep side of Bell. Yes, we all are struggling with culture, keeping schools stay open, interpreting, etc. But at the end, we stand strong!
    Posted on
    121005
  • An absolutely magnificent film - unfortunately, a dark side of our Deaf history... but oh so important to be attentive of what had happened throughout the years so that we do not allow this to repeat again and again. White and hearing power should not dictate what is the best for us -- we certainly are able to decide for ourselves!

    I remember being smacked on my hands for using signs. Owww. As awful and ugly that was, I'm glad this was shown in the film - this part needed to be included (and everything else, too!), to raise awareness.

    Again, outstanding work... hands waving!
    Posted on
    121005
  • This film makes a beautiful job of capturing the beginning of the Alexander G. Bell and oralism's influence. What goes in favor of the film is risky authenticity which the director, Julian Peedle-Calloo's decision to capture this specific event in 23 minutes. Amazingly, it works well. Great casting...especially Sophie Stone as Mabel Bell's excellent close-up performance.

    -Angelica,
    California, USA
    Posted on
    121004
  • Love it and will show it to my boss since he have learned sign language as his second language. Was very glad to learn the language to help communicate with his daughter who was in hospital and she had signed to his father for needed some water. boy, he was glad that he understood what she said.
    Posted on
    121004
  • This is high quality film. I commend you for making this outstanding film. I already spread this via the Facebook & Internet. Congratulations and best wishes!

    R-
    Posted on
    121003
  • Love this, hope it goes viral. It should.
    Posted on
    121003
  • I would like to have DVD for this movie. And where can I can order?
    Posted on
    121003
  • I'm crying. Happily. I went through the same thing under different circumstances: I dealt with the Legal System after my parent died and my hearing brother shafted me. I stood up for Deaf Rights for 14 yrs. Audism is strong. I've told so many Deaf people but they held back, unsure and not wanting to get into trouble. So I went on, alone. Alone on Earth, yes but I had God on my side. He's still on my side. The litigation ended 2008. They won only because they are audists and had more money. Audists truly believe in audism especially when they are all lawyers and judges who share the same audism beliefs. They are no different from Alex Graham Bell. I knew in my heart that his wife couldn't possibly be 100% happy the way Alex made her out to be. I'm so glad she was not what he painted her to be to the public. I have no regrets for speaking up although it gave me a bad reputation, sadly and undeservedly so, as a troublemaker and disturbed in the hearing world where I was born and raised. I ever cussed. I was civil, courteous and respectful the whole time while they were the opposite and overly aggressive like Alex Graham Bell. That happened to me in the mid 1990s' to 2008.
    Posted on
    121003
  • Awesome story it sound alike true story. I love it every min to watch plus I support their right as me too
    Posted on
    121003
  • Such a sad story.
    I have two deaf sisters. Both sisters married deaf men. However,
    they both had children that could hear. They both speak well
    enough that I can understand them. I wish I had grown up knowing
    the sign language. One sister was not allowed to sign in school.
    As in the movie it was very hard for her.

    I am very proud of both of them. They are very talented.
    Posted on
    121003
  • please do not close school for the deaf.
    Posted on
    121003
  • Very interesting story. Was it a true story? If so, based on what references?

    Al
    Posted on
    121003
  • Excellent video. Wish there are dvd to sell. I would love to buy.
    Posted on
    121003
  • it very good show i like it you have any more show for deaf if you have please sent to me in email so i watch deaf show movie thank you
    Posted on
    121003
  • Twice I had watch this film and it was wonderful and nice films but I have fun to figure out BSL but I thanked staff who had very good job and spread this media to the world. Wow! Deaf history took long time to struggle. Soon the senate should pass the CPSD UN law in USA. Sam
    Posted on
    121003
  • Splendid! That is the TRUTH!

    We, Deaf communities all over the world are growing stronger every day to defend our valuable sign language from this propaganda lies - oralism!

    John Warren, Vancouver Canada
    Posted on
    121003
  • excellent video. hit all the key issues,
    Posted on
    121003
  • Your film is great. It is most important for educating the students the Deaf history and culture. Thank you for the excellent films.
    Posted on
    121003
  • Great film! It reminds me of similar "suppression" or "oppression" or sometimes both, by the hearing authorities as they dictate what they deem fit for the hearing and speech impaired individuals at schools for the deaf and elsewhere in society. We need to continue to educate the hearing about the successes of deaf culture.
    Posted on
    121003
  • Very interesting. Many thanks!
    Posted on
    121003
  • check it out
    Posted on
    121003
  • Good film.
    Posted on
    121003
  • NOT complicated at all. The fact is that only 10% of Deaf parents give birth to deaf children. MOST deaf children are born to HEARING parents. 90% of deaf children have hearing parents. Fact also, the years of oralism have proven it doesn't "help" deaf children be hearing or learn better. In fact it was a great hinderance to their learning. With the advent of CIs, the world thinks that this will "cure" deafness. But the fact is, it only makes deaf children hard of hearing. It doesn't bring their hearing up to 100%! When they take them off they are still deaf. It is WRONG, WRONG, WRONG, for we hearing to dictate to the Deaf how to live and legislate their rights away. How would we like to be dictated to about the things we are confortable with and love and told we can't do or have anymore? Think about that!
    Posted on
    121003
  • Are we really trying to help the Deaf acclimate to OUR world by forcing them not to sign OR are we forcing them to accommodate US so we don't have to learn something new?
    Think of it that way. MAKE THEM do all the work so we don't have to!
    Posted on
    121003
  • Best Picture!
    Posted on
    121003
  • Wonderful film! I must share it with my American buddies. :}
    Posted on
    121003
  • Great film depicting the struggles of Deaf people to use sign language. Enlightening and educational film.
    Posted on
    121003
  • ok i am deaf i would like pleasure send me again deaf anything i dont't like deaf and dumb the god will judge anybody
    Posted on
    121003
  • Well done BSL folks! A compliments from a Deaf American!
    Posted on
    121003
  • Wonderful film. Complicated story.
    Posted on
    120924

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