Blindness: a film review
This film is disturbing. An outbreak of blindness lands scores of individuals in a quarantined hospital, where The Lord of the Flies kicks in. A woman who is immune to the virus(?) enters the hospital in order to stay with her husband. The story of Blindness is her story: what it takes to be there for the sick while the society around you descends into moral collapse. In the beginning, the victims are helpless, by the end, the victims are predators. This is a war film. The front is the our humanity.
Blindness is a difficult movie to watch. It takes a long time to get going, but once it does, the ethical descent moves relatively quickly. If you are teaching the OT, this is a pretty solid film to reference. It’s a look at what happens when a society is infected with fear: the tension between the need for power and the need for survival. It’s a look at godlessness, not as a choice but as a means of staying alive. It’s a film about living in an apocalypse where the threat is not only the loss of life, but the death of the spirit as well.
I didn’t expect the depth of depravity in Blindness. There is a moment where, Mark Ruffalo (the husband) says, “I think that everybody ought to do whatever they think they ought to do according to whatever morality they have left.” This is in moment where those who have the food have offered a trade from those who have the women.
Blindness is not just about losing vision. It’s about losing sight of what it means to be human and the pieces of everyday life that contribute to that which makes us who we are. It’s losing your humanity and then struggling to live with the loss.
Without ruining anything, I can tell you that the film ends at most interesting point in the story: How do you live with all that you have done (without a savior)? Who are you after you have survived? Who can you hope to become?
Kudos for the simple soundtrack and purposeful use of silence.