‘‘Blindness”, adapted from the 1995 novel by Nobel laureate José Saramago, is Fernando Meirelles‘ third film, after his heralded 2002 thriller “City of God” and 2005’s “The Constant Gardener“.”Blindness” movie, an apocalyptic nightmare, urban collapse, opened Cannes Film Festival 2008 and also was in Competition.
Although Saramago’s book was published more then 10 years ago, he declined to sell rights to the book for years. He resisted because it’s a violent book about social degradation and rape. Saramago didn’t want it given the typical Hollywood horror treatment.
Meirelles convinced Saramago only after his producer and screenwriter traveled to the Canary Islands and spent two days with the novelist discussing the potential of a new visual allegory about the fragility of civilization.
In an unnamed city of the near future, a terrifying epidemic of “white blindness”, the sufferers seeing only milky white light, spreads like wildfire.
As the shuffling inmates become used to their blindness, they experience a crisis, being and being perceived: they see no one and no one sees them. Do they exist? Did they exist before? Other inmates, however, see a new equality or democracy in blindness: young and old, ugly and beautiful, all are levelled.
And all the time Julianne Moore, exiled from the community of suffering, must endure a vision of horror from which everyone else is spared. She has characteristically strong performance as a lone figure who retains her eyesight, bearing sad but heroic witness to the horrors around her.
Director: Fernando Meirelles
Writer: Don McKellar
Starring: Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Gael Garcia Bernal, Danny Glover, Alice Braga, Yusuke Iseya and Yoshino Kimura.
Release: September 19, 2008