Much of the dialogue within CODA is spoken through sign language and not verbally. Sign language is based on feeling and physical movement. The most poignant moment comes when Ruby and her father are sitting on the tailgate of the family truck after the school concert. Frank asks Ruby to sing. Frank’s ‘dialogue’ is sign language and his ‘listening’ to Ruby sing is feeling, also with his hands touching her neck to feel her voice. The spoken dialogue in the scene are the song lyrics which carry the emotional subtext about Ruby’s love for her family. The blend of verbal and signed dialogue is unique to the story. It comes directly from the scenes and the characters.



Heder, Sian. 2021. CODA [Film]