Gary Tarn's remarkable, award-winning documentary, BLACK SUN, investigates this through the story of Hugues de Montalembert, a New York-based artist and filmmaker who was blinded by a vicious attack in 1978.

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Gary Tarn's remarkable, award-winning documentary, BLACK SUN, investigates this through the story of Hugues de Montalembert, a New York-based artist and filmmaker who was blinded by a vicious attack in 1978.

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blindness | See All (1) »

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5 May 2006 (UK)  »

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Crno sunce  »

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Stunning visuals in documentary about painter gone blind
31 January 2006 | by (Netherlands) – See all my reviews

I saw this movie at the 2006 International Film Festival of Rotterdam. The director was present at the screening for a Q&A.

Painter Hugues de Montalembert lost his eyesight when he became the victim of a tragic crime. He managed to pick up life in a remarkable way. He became pretty independent and traveled to Asia and Europe. He wrote his first book during a stay in Indonesia.

This is a documentary with a strong visual signature. The director supports Montalembert's narrative with vivid colorful images. As a spectator you, may often get the feeling that you are seeing through the subject's eyes (Montalembert is blind indeed, but still has a very visual way of experiencing the world, as we learn). Montalembert's hands are briefly visible during a scene where he tells a funny anecdote about loosing 14 written pages from his manuscript, Other than that, he is only present by voice and narrative. All of this works very well, I think.

The director was originally a composer, here debuting with his first feature. Not surprisingly, the music is also a strong ingredient in the mix.

As someone who has a background as a visual artist, I was fascinated by the well composed real story. Montalembert's experience of a very perceptive person becoming blind is quite valuable to become a part of. It's a good thing that this is not some depressed story about a man with a handicap. Quite on the contrary, Montalembert's life tale is often moving, but there are also quite a number of laughs.

Recommended if you are interested in the subject and if you appreciate a visually spectacular cinematic experience. 8/10


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