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Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

Cerritos College • Norwalk, Calif.

Talon Marks

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Cerritos screens ‘Audible,’ staring Amaree McKenstry-Hall

Lukas Luna-Arellano
Amaree McKenstry-Hall, the person on the right, talks about the film “Audible” and the struggles he dealt with on Sept. 27.

“Audible,” a 2021 documentary following deaf high school senior Amaree McKenstry-Hall’s life in the wake of his best friend’s suicide, was screened for Cerritos’ faculty and students on Sept. 27.

McKenstry attended Maryland School For The Deaf (MSD) and the film focuses heavily on the school’s football team, the Orioles.

The team enjoyed a 16-season and 42-game winning streak that is broken at the start of the doc during a match with a Texas hearing high school.

“Despite our [the team’s] loss, I think our record speaks to the values the sport imparted,” said McKenstry, “Responsibilities and communication, we have to trust in our team. Teamwork, you know.”

While the aftermath of this loss and the tension surrounding the upcoming homecoming game saddens much of the doc, the center of the film is the recent suicide of Theodore “Teddy” Webster.

Teddy was McKenstry’s best friend since kindergarten.

Webster transferred to a hearing high school to pursue his dream of filmmaking but soon found himself the victim of bullying over his disability and orientation.

His eventual suicide touched all of MSD, but it left the deepest scars on McKenstry and cheerleader Jalen Perry.

Perry and Webster shared a romantic relationship and the doc highlights Webster as the cheerleader’s first love.

“Because Teddy had transferred to another school […] they were kind of like, [well] he is not in our school,” McKenstry said.

McKenstry said, “Later on, it got better […] After I graduated I got some counseling. And the school provided counseling. ”

Another important aspect of the film is the reappearance of McKenstry’s father, who left his family shortly after his son turned two.

After some run-ins with the law, his father eventually turned to religion and began to slowly foster a new relationship with his son.

“I’m gonna be blunt. My dad left and he did not really show up, I know he was selling drugs,” the star of ‘Audible’ said, “He did not feel like he was ready to be a dad. But at the same time, I gave my dad a chance.”

McKenstry said that he and his father are now developing a relationship and understanding each other a lot more than when he was a kid.

The film proved to be a success, earning the best documentary nod at the 94th academy awards.

McKenstry is hopeful that this allows docs of a similar type to enlighten people about the troubles minorities deal with, that may not have been considered.

“I think people who have disabilities can benefit from this movie,” McKenstry said, “Showing the struggle and making our story heard can stop us from getting ignored because of this hearing platform.”

The film’s star added, “I think it’s really important for that representation to happen.”

Since filming, McKenstry has continued to reconnect with his father and plans to continue his football career into his adult life.

The documentary, “Audible,” is available to stream on Netflix.

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About the Contributor
Lukas Luna-Arellano
Lukas Luna-Arellano is the co-community editor for Talon Marks. He plans to shore up his literary credentials while at Cerritos before transferring. He enjoys reading, working out, and listening to various types of metal.
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Cerritos screens ‘Audible,’ staring Amaree McKenstry-Hall