Protest Watch: Blind People Offended by Blindness

Julianne Moore in Blindness

I have to start by saying that I have great respect for people who work past disabilities and afflictions to lead healthy, rewarding lives. I have nothing against blind people, just ignorant people. So I apologize early if I offend any of our blind readers out there – wait, can blind people read?

News has hit that the National Federation of the Blind plans to protest Miramax and director Fernando Meirelles’s film Blindness. The film is set to release October 3rd in a limited run of about 75 screens across the country. The film is based on Jose Saramago’s 1995 novel of the same title. The film is about a mysterious epidemic that causes blindness, and consequently hysteria and chaos. So what’s the problem? It would seem that someone who actually saw the film, told the NFB what the film is about. Apparently the NFB doesn’t appreciate the depiction of blind people in the film. The quarantined blind are kept in a mental institution and travel to several extremes such as trading sex for food and fighting each other for survival.

I will take this one as delicately as possible. It isn’t the NFB’s fault for not being able to see… that this is simply a metaphor. Some people just cant see beyond their reach. This is a movie. Movies are meant to do a few things such as entertain, inform and explore. Some films do all of these, some do none. Some films explore the present political and social climate of the world, and become a powerful allegory for people to relate with. Some films inform viewers, and provide a mostly factual view of a subject matter. So why is it that some people are just too blind to see the line between fact and metaphor?

Blindness is simply a metaphor for a chaotic breakdown in communication and basic societal behaviors. the metaphor is not a vehicle that has not been seen in cinema. Everyone knows that James Cameron’s Titanic wasn’t about a sinking ship, it was a metaphor for the looming economic crisis to be expected at the turn of the century. It is a well known fact, in many circles, that I Am Legend was a brilliant social commentary on the energy and fuel crisis. So enough bragging about my film knowledge. Let’s get back on point and turn to a statement from Miramax regarding the protest, “We are saddened to learn that the National Federation of the Blind plans to protest the film Blindness.'”

You know what saddens me? The fact that the National Federation of the Blind, can not see their own ignorance. You didn’t see people running around and caging apes after the release of Planet of the Apes out of paranoia that we would be overthrown by primates. No, we used them as butlers. Little monkey butlers. We didn’t see everyone running out and caring about the environment because of that crazy Gore flick An Inconvenient Truth now did we? We don’t actually think that blind people are chaotic and void of common sense of order. I’m not sure about the whole soiling themselves, and trading sex for food thing though. I better google that.

What do you think of the National Federation of the Blind’s outrage over Blindness?

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