7.4/10
2,117
7 user 27 critic

Imagine (2012)

A blind teacher breaks the rules to help a female student rediscover the pleasures of life.

Director:

Andrzej Jakimowski

Writer:

Andrzej Jakimowski (screenplay)
Reviews
5 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Edward Hogg ... Ian
Alexandra Maria Lara ... Eva
Melchior Derouet Melchior Derouet ... Serrano
Francis Frappat Francis Frappat ... Doctor
João Lagarto João Lagarto ... Brother Humberto
Alix Planco Alix Planco ... Ian's Student
António Rolo António Rolo ... Ian's Student
Cláudia Soares Cláudia Soares ... Ian's Student
Denilson Gomes Denilson Gomes ... Ian's Student
Ellie Wallwork Ellie Wallwork ... Ian's Student
Grace Whitford Grace Whitford ... Ian's Student
Jason Monero Jason Monero ... Ian's Student
Jonathan Delalonde Jonathan Delalonde ... Ian's Student
Josua Black Josua Black ... Ian's Student
Lucy Hogan Lucy Hogan ... Ian's Student
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Storyline

Set in Lisbon, Portugal at an institute for the blind where children are taught to live with their disability, to not take risks, and to be comfortable at all times. Ian a non-conformist teacher who is also blind is hired at the school and introduces revolutionary methods: Rejecting the use of a cane, Ian teaches the children to achieve spatial orientation by using all of their senses including moving by the resonance of sound vibrations (echolocation), instinct, and the creative use of their imagination. Confident and even slightly over-aggressive, Ian charms the children and gives them a reason to hope, though they are always testing and questioning him to prove that he is one of them and never seem quite convinced of his sincerity. Ian's sessions take place right under the window of Eva (Alexandra Maria Lara), an adult patient who never leaves her room and does not speak to anybody. Surprisingly, she becomes one of his most responsive students and there is even a hint of romance. ... Written by Good Edward

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Plot Keywords:

sound | student | ship | cane | doctor | See All (25) »

Genres:

Drama

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Details

Country:

Poland | Portugal | France | UK

Language:

English | French | Portuguese | German

Release Date:

12 April 2013 (Poland) See more »

Also Known As:

A képzelet ereje See more »

Filming Locations:

Lisbon, Portugal

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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User Reviews

 
Challenges viewers to use all of their sense perception
10 August 2014 | by Howard SchumannSee all my reviews

French Novelist Marcel Proust said, "The real voyage of discovery lies in not seeing new landscapes but in having new eyes." Polish Director Andrzej Jakimowski's Imagine, a film about the world of the visually impaired, takes us beyond sight to look at the world through different eyes, that of the totality of our senses. Winner of the 2014 Audience Award and Best Director at the Warsaw Film Festival, Imagine is set in Lisbon, Portugal at an institute for the blind where children are taught to live with their disability, to not take risks, and to be comfortable at all times. When Ian (Edward Hogg) a non-conformist teacher who is also visually impaired is hired at the school, however, the safety of their world is shaken.

Rejecting the use of a cane, Ian teaches the children to achieve spatial orientation by using all of their senses including moving by the resonance of sound vibrations (echolocation), instinct, and the creative use of their imagination. Confident and even slightly over-aggressive, Ian charms the children and gives them a reason to hope, though they are always testing and questioning him to prove that he is one of them and never seem quite convinced of his sincerity. Ian's sessions take place right under the window of Eva (Alexandra Maria Lara), an adult patient who never leaves her room and does not speak to anybody. Surprisingly, she becomes one of his most responsive students and there is even a hint of romance.

Taking the students out into the streets of Lisbon, we see the city in all its light and beauty, but the blind can see none of it. Ian clicks his tongue and snaps his fingers when he walks, using the sound that bounces off objects to create his own space, teaching the students how to visualize with their ears. As Eva wears a pair of high heel shoes for the first time, the two bond as they begin to trust each other. Together they visit a café (where she flirts with a young man), walk along the harbor and cross busy streets without any aids other than their ability to listen for the sounds of vehicles, footsteps, or other obstacles in their path.

With them is Serrano (Melchior Derouet), a young blind boy whom Ian asks to use his imagination to "see" a ship in the harbor. Jakimowski resists the temptation to idealize Ian or portray the disabled as saints. Neither does he take sides when the new teacher is challenged by the school doctor and head teacher of the school (Francis Frappat) who is concerned that he is giving the children the illusion of hope. Convinced of the value of his approach, however, Ian walks a thin line between taking risks and being reckless and crosses the line once too often.

Supported by the authentic performances of Hogg and Lara, Jakimowski, as in his great 2007 film Tricks, creates an atmosphere of poetry and magic that challenges viewers to use all of their sense perception to create the world. According to Jakimowski, "We the sighted perceive the world very similarly to the blind. We also don't see what's important…We're all blind. In a sense we are blinder than they are. Even more, because in their own way they compensate with other senses." In this case, it's the blind leading the blind so that we all can see.


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