Nineteen people with differing degrees of visual impairment - from mild nearsightedness to total blindness - discuss how they see themselves, how they see others and how they perceive the ... See full summary »
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Daniel de Oliveira,
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Nineteen people with differing degrees of visual impairment - from mild nearsightedness to total blindness - discuss how they see themselves, how they see others and how they perceive the world. Writer and Nobel laureate José Saramago, musician Hermeto Paschoal, filmmaker Wim Wenders, blind Franco-Slovenian photographer Evgen Bavcar, neurologist Oliver Sacks, actress Marieta Severo, blind city councilman Arnaldo Godoy, among others, make personal and surprising revelations about various aspects of vision - the physiological working of the eye; the use of glasses and what it means about personality; the meaning of seeing or not seeing in a world saturated by images; and, also, the importance of emotions in transforming reality if, that is, there is such a thing common to all. Unusual images, of burning trees or empty deserts, link the interviews, which vary from deep to funny to poetic. Written by
Although I saw this documentary under unfavorable circumstances (in Portuguese, with Spanish subtitles), it remains in my mind and heart. Based on well-edited clips from interviews with nineteen visually impaired people, some totally blind, others with serious but correctable vision difficulties--many of the people interviewed famous for their accomplishments--the film reveals ways that perceptual problems can shape rather than wreck people's lives.
The interviews with a Brazilian fisherman, Nobel prizewinning Portuguese writer Jose Saramago, and a self-accepting woman artist who has taken advantage of her blurred vision in her work have stayed in my mind's eye. I learned that Oliver Sacks, whose books are packed with intelligence and emotion but not visual detail, has had severe myopia since birth.
IMDb readers may be most interested in hearing what Wim Wenders and Agnes Varda have to say. The film, 73 minutes long, is available in a version with English subtitles.
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