Moonlight Sonata

Filmmaker: Irene Taylor Brodsky
Runtime: 90 min

Synopsis: “Psssst!” Our story begins with filmmaker Irene Taylor Brodsky audibly trying to get her infant son’s attention. He is already going deaf but she does not yet know it. Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements tells the visceral and intimate story of a deaf boy growing up, a deaf man growing old and perhaps the world’s most famous deaf person, Ludwig van Beethoven, who crafted a sonata that would resonate across time and cultures. Told from Irene’s perspective with 80 years of home movies, verite footage, original animation and sound design, their lives weave an intergenerational, inter-era tale of deafness that explores loss and, more importantly, what we discover when we push beyond it.


About the Filmmaker

Irene Taylor Brodsky is an Oscar-nominated, Emmy and Peabody Award-winning filmmaker whose works journey deep into the human senses. Her most recent feature film, Moonlight Sonata: Deafness in Three Movements, about her deaf family and Beethoven, follows her 2007 Sundance and Peabody-winning memoir about her deaf parents, Hear and Now and her 2018 New York Times Op-Doc, Between Sound and Silence.

Irene’s Emmy-nominated HBO feature Beware the Slenderman received two 2018 Critics’ Choice Award nominations for Best Director and Best Documentary. Her films explore blindness in Open Your Eyes, the global effort to eradicate polio in her Oscar-nominated The Final Inch, childhood grief in her Emmy-winning One Last Hug, a portrait of a single bird in her Emmy-winning Saving Pelican 895, and one family’s testament to love and music, Homeless: The Soundtrack.

Irene recently founded the Treehouse Project, a nonprofit promoting accessibility to cinema for differently-abled audiences. She has also worked as a news journalist, a Himalayan mountain guide, is a Sundance Institute Fellow, a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences as well as the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. She founded Vermilion Films in 2004.

Irene is based in Portland, Oregon, USA.