2023 AIFF Doc Showcase: The Tuba Thieves
(NR) - 1 hr. 32 min.
From 2011 to 2013, a string of puzzling burglaries took place in Southern California: tubas went missing from a dozen high schools. Alison O'Daniel's genre-defying debut was sparked by these events. Imagining what a band might sound like stripped of its deepest sound, the visual artist and filmmaker asks what it means to listen. The film winds through storylines blending documentary, narrative, and reenactment—one centered on a Deaf drummer playing a fictionalized version of herself, another following the school communities dealing with the theft—with ingenious interpretations of history-making concerts, from John Cage's 4'33' to the last punk show at San Francisco's Deaf Club, interspersed throughout. A story told through sound and its absence, The Tuba Thieves embraces the possibility of miscomprehension and delay in a meditation on access and loss. Featuring a cinematic experience of Los Angeles rarely seen—or heard—before, and incorporating open captions as a rich narrative space, O'Daniel's work is profound in its prompt for (hearing) audiences to tune in differently. (Museum of Modern Art New Directors/New Films).
Paired with short film- Wave Hands Like Clouds ( Marga Laube) 3 mins