Entertainment Magazine

The Conference

Posted on the 23 November 2023 by Sirmac2 @macthemovieguy

Where I Watched It: Netflix

English Audio Description?: No

Just a friendly reminder that Netflix loves to boost their content profile by advertising shows and movies originally shot for use in other countries, and release them in America without English Audio Description. Even Squid Game, which became Netflix’s most watched International title didn’t launch with audio description, just an English dub track. Not the same thing.

The week The Conference came out, Netflix had this constantly in my face. So, I figured if it was worth that much hype… then I realized there’s no audio description. Basically, it’s a horror movie of sorts where a corporate retreat goes horribly awry. It reminded me a little of The Hunt, which had the unfortunate timing of hitting theatres just before they shut down due to covid.

Somewhere in here might be a decent film, but it is hard to distinguish. To be honest, I didn’t even realize this film was dubbed right away because the actors hired to do the voices were actually doing pretty solid work for the genre. I got suspicious when it seemed like a bunch of Americans were jamming out to pop music not in the English language, and that’s when it hit me.

I have no idea if I missed a good film or a bad film, but this ongoing problem at Netflix has caused me to be unable to enjoy Best Picture nominee Roma, and I continue to see things in foreign languages that I’d like to watch. One of the great things about film is how incredibly universal the medium is with regard to telling a unique story from a specific perspective. As much as it was a certain voice that drove Spike Lee to Do The Right Thing, there are filmmakers in other countries trying to tell a story representative of what it is like to live there. Not always just within the country, but sometimes even a regionally specific, of caste oriented story. We can learn so much from watching the works of international filmmakers, and it’s one of the saddest things I’ve lost since going blind. The overwhelming majority of international titles just get English dubs and not audio description, despite the fact that most serious cinephiles reject dub tracks and read subtitles. I used to do that too, but now I can’t. So, I have to rely on a secondary audio track created just for me that not only can translate the dialogue, but also lets me know what I’m missing visually on screen. My viewpoint is becoming more and more American as I find less and less content available in other languages.

Netflix is good about having this wide content, but they aren’t consistent in making sure their content is accessible. I can’t recommend this, but I long for the day when I can start recommending Netflix international titles because they have the necessary accessibility.

Final Grade: Unwatchable

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog