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A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant "white blindness". Those first afflicted are quarantined by the authorities in an abandoned mental hospital where the newly created "society of the blind" quickly breaks down. Criminals and the physically powerful prey upon the weak, hoarding the meager food rations and committing horrific acts. There is, however, one eyewitness to the nightmare. A woman whose sight is unaffected by the plague follows her afflicted husband to quarantine. There, keeping her sight a secret, she guides seven strangers who have become, in essence, a family. She leads them out of quarantine and onto the ravaged streets of the city, which has seen all vestiges of civilization crumble. Written by
Festival de Cannes' Editor
Producer Niv Fichman became interested in the project back in 1999 when he and Don McKellar, who would write the script, flew to the Canary Islands to talk to the Nobel Prize-winning Portuguese author José Saramago about giving them the film rights to his book. One of Saramago's conditions was that the film must not be set in any recognizable countries. See more »
The pistol used in the movie appears to be a snub-nosed revolver, typically holding between 5 to 10 bullets. The number of rounds fired off without any indication of reloading is closer to 15 throughout the "Ward 3" standoff. See more »
Opens your eyes for something you don't want to see
The movie has its merits. It brings you into the story, making you feel all the emotions felt by the characters, and in my opinion this is why some people didn't like it; it opens your eyes for things that nobody wants to see. I'm not saying that a disease like this one could happen, but others may come, and that's a reality.
The movie makes you feel extremely uncomfortable; I caught myself thinking about leaving the room sometimes. The atmosphere that Fernando Meireles built is so heavy and dark (even thought the whole movie is full of bright colors) that it makes you feel something like depression, sadness, and you keep thinking in the movie after it has finished. The acting helped a lot in this aspect; all the actors did their best to give a perfect sense of reality.
If you want just to spend some time watching a good apocalyptic movie, this is not the one. It may be considered as "cult" in someway, by the fact that you don't watch it to get entertained, but to reflect about it.
If I had to grade this movie based on how I felt during it, I would give it a 0, but I have to say that, above everything, it is a great movie.
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