Notes on Blindness

Notes on Blindness

classified U

Please note: This was screened in July 2016

Pete Middleton, James Spinney
Dan Renton Skinner, Simone Kirby
90 mins, 2016, UK

In 1983, after years of failing sight, theologian John Hull became completely blind. Soon after, he began keeping an audio diary, saying "I had to think about blindness, because if I didn't understand it, it would defeat me," and these diaries form the basis of an extraordinarily unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal that documents his discovery of 'a world beyond sight'.

In this penetrating and eloquent documentary, directors Peter Middleton and James Spinney have mined Hull's original tapes as well as interviews with Hull and his wife to evoke his inner world. The film combines the voices of Hull and his family - performed by actors and woven into a sensitive sound design - with images that represent his experiences, memories and dreams through reenactment and metaphor. Tracing Hull's struggle to "retain the fullness of my humanity" (for Hull, out of sight was never out of mind), Notes on Blindness conjures both the loveliness of a visual world tragically lost to him, and the value of what remains - and the result is a surreal, visceral, one-of-a-kind viewing experience.