Blindness (2008) Poster



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  • When residents of a large city start falling prey to a mysterious epidemic of "white" blindness, one woman (Julianne Moore) seems to be immune to it. She follows her husband (Mark Ruffalo), an opthalmologist who is struck blind soon after treating the first victim, an upscale Japanese professional (Yûsuke Iseya), to an abandoned asylum where the government has set up a designated quarantine, not knowing that the government means to imprison and abandon them with little food and no supplies. When the wards begin filling up with more and more blind people, the woman feigns blindness in order to protect her assumed family—the Japanese man, his wife (Yoshino Kimura), a young boy (Mitchell Nye), a man with a black eye-patch (Danny Glover), and a woman with dark glasses (Alice Braga)—as the asylum community disintegrates into chaos and disorder. Edit

  • Blindess is based on a 1995 novel of the same name by Portuguese novelist José Saramago. It was adapted for the screen by Canadian film-maker and novelist Don McKellar. Edit

  • No. There are no ghouls or nefarious corporations. In fact, there is no clear enemy, no clear cause for the blindness affecting a whole city. The "horror" in the movie is not to show people being attacked by voracious zombies but to show the fragility of the social infrastructure that we have designed to keep ourselves safe. Edit

  • As per José Saramago's wishes when he consented to the adaptation, the film is intentionally not set in any recognizable location. This is done to emphasize the universality of the film and that the outbreak could (and possibly did) occur anywhere. To this end, many aspects of the film's setting (cars, architecture, languages spoken, etc.) are taken from many different parts of the world and the government depicted appears to be a "one-world" government. The shots of the city skyline seen throughout, however, are the skyline of São Paulo, Brazil; that city and Toronto served as the primary filming locations. The final scenes were shot in Montevideo, Uruguay. Edit

  • No matter the disease, virus, or bacterial infection that occurs, there will always be a few in the world who are immune to it. Even currently, there are a select number of people in the world who are immune to such deadly viruses such as HIV, Ebola, and typhoid. It's completely plausible that the doctor's wife was immune to the blindness. Edit

  • Many of the patients got into the institute in groups, probably because they were exposed at the same location and moment, and therefore all started to go blind around the same time. One of those groups, for example, consisted of people who had been together in the Doctor's waiting room. At this moment the authorities assumed the disease to be caused by an airborne infectant, hence the protective suits and oxygen masks. Maybe the Accountant had also been in the presence of people that later became blind, so they simply quarantined him because they suspected him to be infected too, even though they could not confirm this. However, since we do not know how the disease works, it is also very possible that the Accountant, who would be used to his 'black blindness', started to experience the 'white blindness' and was therefore identified the same way as the other people. The important part is not whether he could be affected by the white blindness but whether he could transfer it to other people. They couldn't trust him to tell the truth about the conditions of his blindness (with most people, they can't just pretend to not be blind) so it was safer to quarantine him rather than risk him spreading it. Edit

  • She did consider taking the scissors, but in the end she decides not to. You can still see the scissors on the black cabinet when the women march to Ward 3. Possible ideas why she allowed it include: (1) she was scared; the men of Ward 3 were intimidating, they had a gun, and they had a naturally blind man with them who would have an advantage, (2) she and the others in Ward 1, including a child, were starving, and she thought eating food was more important than preserving her dignity, (3) she was angry at her husband for cheating on her and wanted to hurt him, or (4) at that point, she simply wasn't ready to commit murder. She didn't think the men of Ward 3 would be as violent as they ended up being. However, they then murder one of the women in a whim and show nothing but contempt over her lost life, implying that they may do it again to the women of Ward 2. This is what finally pushes her over the edge. Edit

  • Ward 3's advantage, outside of having a gun, was that one of its members was naturally blind. This made any attempt of a stealth attack of just walking up and killing them much more perilous since her presence was far more likely to be detected. There was also the issue of the natural inequality between the sexes, as any advantage she might gain from her sight (even with a weapon like the scissors) would be neutralized in prolonged close-quartered hand-to-hand combat by a man's naturally superior strength. She rightly determined that her best chance was utilizing the element of surprise in a first strike capacity while her adversary and his thugs were preoccupied. It was imperative that her initial blow be absolutely lethal since any subsequent combat put her at a distinct disadvantage, not to mention his ability to call out for assistance. In order to overcome these natural disadvantages, she determines that the circumstances surrounding the first forced sexual encounter offer her the best environment for success as she's seen beforehand arming herself with the scissors and positions herself to be chosen by the "king" (Gael García Bernal) before abjectly refusing his order to fellate him. But her plan goes awry when he grabs the Asian woman by the hair and threatens to shoot both of them if she does not comply. When she realizes that her attack would almost certainly result in her friend's immediate death, she concedes to his demands, to his surprise and delight. She finally succeeds within the similarly favorable environment of the Ward 2 rape. She used the natural element of surprise while the ward was preoccupied with committing rape. She sneaks up to the king, takes careful aim knowing that, if she squanders her first strike initiative, she will likely die, and she plunges the scissors deep into his eye, piercing his brain. Even then she is barely able to escape the ensuing turmoil. Edit

  • The doctor's wife leads her husband and the others in her new "family" to the large house that she and her husband own. There, they shower, change into clean clothes, eat dinner together, and talk about their future. The next morning, while having coffee and cleaning up from the previous night's dinner, the Japanese man's veil of whiteness suddenly begins to clear up. "I can see!", he cries. The others gather around him in tearful hopes that this means the blindness epidemic is over and that they, too, will regain their sight. During this, the man with the eye patch is overlooked/unnoticed by the others and becomes irrelevant again just like life before the epidemic, symbolizing the blindness of people who have healthy eyesight. In the final scene, the doctor's wife steps out on the porch and gazes up into a white, overcast sky. She then lowers her gaze, and the city skyline comes into view, clear as always. Edit

  • It's the main theme from the movie Sunshine, written by John Murphy. It is the track "Escaping the Icarus II" from the movie soundtrack released on iTunes. Edit



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