Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago and director Fernando Meirelles (The Constant Gardener (2005)) offer a disturbing, compelling take on a theme previously explored by British science fiction writer John Wyndham in The Day of the Triffids – just how bad would things really get if humanity, with but a few exceptions, was struck blind?
In a nameless city, a highly contagious disease (‘white blindness’) is laying waste to law and order – the affliction hits a doctor (Mark Ruffalo), who goes to pieces, while his wife (Julianne Moore) seems mysteriously immune but makes a split-second decision to fake blindness in order to stand by her husband. The blind are being herded into a government ‘sanctuary’ which, while at first seeming to be a safe place to rehabilitate, quickly becomes an overcrowded hell with no chance of escape, one in which the rules, Lord of the Flies-style, are rapidly breaking down…
Meirelles’ pace and tone lies somewhere between The Constant Gardner and the faster, overtly kinetic style of his City of God (2003), but nevertheless is charged with emotional and psychological impact that weighs heavily on Julianne Moore’s shoulders – our eyes on the horror unfolding as civilization does likewise. Not an easy ride, by any means, but nevertheless thoughtful, adult and resonant.
120 mins. In English and Japanese.