Trailer Tuesday: Blindness

Oh boy, I'm really looking forward to the drama-thriller Blindness, based on the novel of the same name by José Saramago. Not that I've read the book but I've been sold on the plot synopsis alone:

Blindness is the story of an unexplained mass epidemic of blindness afflicting nearly everyone in one (unnamed) city, and the social breakdown that swiftly follows.

The film follows the misfortunes of a handful of characters who are among the first to be stricken and centers around a doctor and his wife (who inexplicably seems to be immune to the blindness), several of the doctor’s patients, and assorted others, thrown together by chance. This group bands together in a family-like unit to survive when they are quarantined in a filthy, overcrowded asylum.

Hygiene, living conditions, and morale degrade horrifically in the asylum over a very short period, mirroring the society outside.

I'm expecting Blindness to be both a harrowing and thought-provoking experience for cinema audiences... and frankly I wouldn't have it any other way. After a good few months now of largely forgettable popcorn flicks it's time for some cinema releases that get under your skin and really make you think.

I'm a big fan of the likes of Children of Men and 28 Days Later, so I have an especial fondness for these Lord of the Flies-style examinations of how humanity degrades under pressure and panic.

Blindness didn't exactly receive rave reviews at the Cannes International Film Festival earlier this year but I'm not going to be put off by a few curmudgeonly critics. Blindness has a very impressive pedigree, with Academy Award-nominee Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) in the director's chair, and a fantastic cast that includes Julianne Moore, Gael García Bernal, Mark Ruffalo, Sandra Oh, Alice Braga and Danny Glover.

Blindness opens in limited release in the US on 19 September. No clue when it will be released in South Africa, but it's likely to be sometime in the new year... at Cinema Noveau only. Ho hum.


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