In “Two Worlds,” a sweet, inspiring family portrait, 12-year-old Laura serves as the viewers’ guide through life with her deaf parents — an existence that’s undoubtedly unusual and challenging but also surprisingly ordinary. Laura is an absolute charmer, displaying precocious insight and self-awareness. In her discussions with friends, she touchingly reveals what it feels like to have others mock her parents and admits how difficult it is to feel responsible for serving as their spoken-word link to the hearing world. But Laura also acknowledges that she sometimes exploits their inability to hear, taking secret advantage as any 12-year-old would. In one especially funny scene — indicative of their unique parenting challenges — her mom and dad attempt to talk to Laura about school, but she ignores them in true tween fashion. In this case, however, her mischievousness backfires: When they instead ask Laura if she wants ice cream, she continues to look away from their signing, missing a chance to say yes to a treat she would definitely want. Such revealing moments abound in this beautifully subtle and poignant documentary.
The Mute's House
Yousef, an 8-year-old Palestinian boy who lives with his deaf mother, navigates between the Jewish and Muslim areas of a city torn apart by hatred and violence.