Jamaican Diaspora News

Shattering Barriers: Jamaican Filmmaker Works to Encourage Positive View of Deaf, People of Color

Written by Xavier Murphy


The winner of the Best Narrative Short at the 2015 Jamaica Film Festival, “The Shattered Mind,” was made by Ann Marie Bryan, a filmmaker of Jamaican parentage who uses her experiences as a deaf person to “expose the human side of deaf and hard of hearing people from all backgrounds, especially people of color,” Born with the ability to hear, Bryan’s loss of hearing is attributed to a childhood accident. Her parents left the island when she was four or five years old, moving to the United States to achieve the American Dream. Bryan acknowledges the special challenges overcome the “barriers of sound” as a filmmaker. “The Shattered Mind” tells the story of a teenager who struggles with her traumatic past and experiences life as both a hearing person and as a deaf person.  Through her filmmaking, Bryan addresses issues including relationships between hearing and deaf people, domestic violence, race, family conflict, police brutality, and the way deaf people are mistreated.

About the author

Xavier Murphy