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Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Blind Rage

posted by on October 1 at 15:54 PM

Defamer reports that the president of the National Federation of the Blind is calling for a boycott of the movie Blindness, which is based on Nobel Prize laureate Jose Saramago’s book of the same name. The plot of Blindness, in which everyone in the world goes blind at the same time except for one person, is supposed to be hateful toward blind people somehow:

The National Federation of the Blind condemns and deplores this film, which will do substantial harm to the blind of America and the world. Blind people in this film are portrayed as incompetent, filthy, vicious, and depraved. They are unable to do even the simplest things like dressing, bathing, and finding the bathroom. The truth is that blind people regularly do all of the same things that sighted people do. Blind people are a cross-section of society, and as such we represent the broad range of human capacities and characteristics. We are not helpless children or immoral, degenerate monsters; we are teachers, lawyers, mechanics, plumbers, computer programmers, and social workers.

This movie looks bad on so many levels, but I can’t rustle up any sympathy for the NF of the B on this one. And I’m not sure that a boycott of a movie by a group of blind people is going to do much damage to a film’s box office receipts.

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I get your joke there, at the end, but really it is a little hurtful of a portrayal of a minority group.

And you're fat.

Posted by Non | October 1, 2008 3:59 PM

Does the movie actually portray how people-who-were-blind-beforehand handle things? You'd think they would be the only ones in the movie with their shit together.

Posted by leek | October 1, 2008 4:05 PM

The book was amazing, and profoundly depressing. A huge number of people go blind all at once - of course they're unable to deal with it, the whole society is unable to deal with it, and the remaining sighted people are wildly inhumane. It was one of those books that was so good, I'll never see the movie; I don't want the book experience spoiled if the movie sucks.

Posted by Patti | October 1, 2008 4:11 PM

Have they even seen the movie?? - Oh yeah, sorry.

Posted by seatard | October 1, 2008 4:13 PM

I always liked "if you're considering murder-suicide, do the suicide part first" as a motto to live by. I think that was a Schmader. Perhaps we could add "if you're going to be outraged about a book, read it first"?

Using "read" in the broadest possible sense of course...

Posted by blank12357 | October 1, 2008 4:16 PM

one of the most mind-blowing books i've ever read. probably skip the movie.

Posted by brett | October 1, 2008 4:17 PM

one of the most mind-blowing books i've ever read. probably skip the movie.

Posted by brett | October 1, 2008 4:17 PM

I wonder what they would think of this?

Posted by flamingbanjo | October 1, 2008 4:21 PM

in the book the blind people behave much like anyone would, were they are locked up together with limited resources, no information, and no outside contact. also these are people who have lost their sight in the prime of their lives, over a few hours time with no medical explanation.
for the NFFTB to take this personally is ridiculous.
it's like saying that "Lord of the Flies" defames children

Posted by SaraH | October 1, 2008 4:24 PM

Blind people are blind. Who knew?

Posted by Mr. Poe | October 1, 2008 4:27 PM

The book is one hell of a wild ride. Considering how much of the story takes place in total darkness (actually total whiteness) I'm curious as to what the film will actually look like.

Also worth noting that the people in the book who are blind before the tragedy have a distinct advantage over the bumbling newly afflicted.

Posted by Gurldoggie | October 1, 2008 4:33 PM

Sarah @ 9 nails it.

(And yes, I've read the book, and loved it, despite the blind-on-blind gang-rapes on piles of feces. Can't wait to see how they work that in the movie.)

Posted by David Schmader | October 1, 2008 4:34 PM

I've read other Samarago books, but not Blindness. Isn't it essentially a political allegory, like many of his other books? The "blindness" is really capitalism/religion/authoritarianism. This is kind of like expecting an Animal Farm movie to accurately portray the lives of animals living on a farm.

Posted by La Mareada | October 1, 2008 4:42 PM

exactly, 9 and 11

WONDERFUL book, and I can't imagine anyone better than Julianne Moore to play the heroine. The Federation of the Blind didn't GET the book... it's not actually ABOUT blindness.

To repeat from 9, 'cause it deserves repeating:

it's like saying that "Lord of the Flies" defames children

Posted by L | October 1, 2008 5:13 PM

Um, if I were suddenly stricken blind, I think I'd have a hell of a time carrying out the normal daily actions of life. After much training, I'm sure I'd be able to function, but seriously, at first, I'm sure there'd be days where I shit my pants cause I couldn't find a fucking bathroom.

Posted by Gitai | October 1, 2008 6:11 PM

i think it looks cool so there

Posted by mnm | October 1, 2008 6:32 PM

There was a book called "The Day of the Triffids" published in the 50s (I think), with a similar premise, only everyone is blind because they looked at some sort of bright light. But a few people aren't blind. And, there are giant plants out to get everyone. I'm probably not making it sound appealing but it totally was a great read. When I heard about this movie it reminded me of that book. So, now I want to read Blindness because I'm curious about the similarities.

Posted by PopTart | October 1, 2008 8:34 PM

I fail to see what the hubbub is all about. Nicodemus.

Posted by RHETT ORACLE | October 2, 2008 12:53 AM

The Canadians, of course, are more reasonable:

"CNIB is not planning any protest around the movie, Blindness," CNIB spokesperson Cathy Moore said yesterday. "In fact, we haven't even seen the film."

Posted by A | October 2, 2008 1:20 AM

The book is absolutely hairraising, probably his strongest.

Can't comment on the flick, but a movie version that was pitch-black, shown in a pitch-black theater, now that might just be worth paying for.

Posted by onewink3 | October 2, 2008 12:50 PM

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