Blindness is a film about a fast spreading pandemic that sweeps across the world, rendering most of the population blind. There may be spoilers in this post.
The movie follows a group of infected individuals as they’re dumped in a facility without anyone to guide them. They’re treated cruelly, quickly things become a mess as people are unable to find their way around as they adapt to their sudden blindness. They are under armed guard, and there is one scene where a guard shoots a lost blind man who is simply seeking guidance of where to go.
They are given rationed food – too little to live on – and things quickly start to get out of hand. One of the individuals takes control of the rations and demands a trade for the food, first in precious jewellery and then in women.
It’s a savage and unrelenting film that didn’t glorify the violence – it was handled quite tastefully for the most part – and yet it explored the feelings that would go along with this enormous sense of loss and chaos. With the world struck blind, with the group stuck in quarantine, with there being no guidance or laws, society breaks down.
The Wikipedia page mentioned that the movie received criticism.
Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind, said: “The National Federation of the Blind condemns and deplores this film, which will do substantial harm to the blind of America and the world.” A press release from the American Council of the Blind said “…it is quite obvious why blind people would be outraged over this movie. Blind people do not behave like uncivilized, animalized creatures.” The National Federation of the Blind announced plans to picket theaters in at least 21 states, in the largest protest in the organization’s 68-year history.
This movie (and the book it was based upon) wasn’t about blindness. It was about a fast spreading, global pandemic that suddenly struck most people with a disability to which society responded by pushing them aside, without support or care.
Blind people do not behave like uncivilized, animalized creatures – but people do.
People are capable of horrible, terrible things. Things that they never thought themselves of being capable of. Things they might wish they weren’t capable of.
Blind people should be outraged by the movie – as should sighted people – because it speaks to one of our greatest fears.
This could be us.