REVIEW: Blind (2014)

Blind film posterA cinematic experiment” – that’s what the Berlinale Journal has to say about Eskil Vogt’s Blind. The film is part of the official Panorama selection – a section which devotes its programme to individuals and groups who face difficult life situations. It shows the diversity of our modern world society, but at the same time realises that the world is a challenging place for every character in every society.

 

When Einar (Marius Kolbenstvedt) takes a break from consuming an excessive amount of  hardcore internet porn, he looks out of his window and into Elin’s (Vera Vitali) living room. Einar watches her from afar, as she undresses at night, and when she brings home a date. But the two aren’t real. These scenes take place in a woman’s fantasy. Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen), who has recently lost her eyesight, is spending her time making up stories about her husband Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen), herself and her two fantasy characters. Not daring to go out herself, she ventures through Oslo through their eyes.

Directed and written by Eskil Vogt Blind artistically interweaves Ingrid’s reality and multiple fantasies. When fantasy Morten talks to an old friend, their location changes back and forth from a café to the Oslo tram. Seamlessly edited by Jens Christian Fodstad, Ingrid bends her fantasy and reality. Elin and Einar embody her desire for a normal life: visual pleasure, raising a child, flirting – all considered lost with her eyesight. Increasingly depressed Ingrid turns against her thriving fantasies, and their perfect world begins to crumble.

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Deprived of her sight, Ingrid improves her other senses. She hears things, noone else would notice: the street noise five floors below her flat, the hammering of Morton’s fingers on the laptop keyboard. But the lack of sight drives her insane. She doesn’t believe that Morton leaves for work, that their new apartment looks the way he says, that she can ever leave the apartment again.

Vogt’s directorial debut is a daring, yet insightful portrait of a woman on the edge. Captivated by desperation and drowning in nightmarish illusions, Ingrid is literally blind for her own abilities to thrive. Blind is a journey through the complex maze of loosing and regaining the will to live, and manages to shed light to the bottom of it.

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