Starring: Ellen Dorrit Peterson, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali
Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid (Peterson) retreats to the safety of her home. However as she tries desperately to keep hold of her ability to imagine and visualise images, her other senses, fears and repressed fantasies begin to take over.
Cinema is of course a visual medium above anything else, and if any of us cinema buffs were to lose our sight then it would certainly take away one of our major passion in life, not to mention of course the other consequences this would have on our day to day lives. Being a visual medium, a film can essentially give us visual access into the mind of a character, and as Ingrid loses her ability to visualise, Eskil Vogt’s film gives us unflinching access into her increasingly warped imagination as she attempts to use her remaining available senses to help her continue to think of images. This provides often extremely challenging (and occasionally sexually explicit) viewing, but the imagination knows no limits (and often logic), especially as Ingrid is still very much coming to terms with losing her sight and learning to utilise her remaining senses that are currently working in a way she has never experienced before, and Blind depicts this very effectively. It is a film that unquestionably challenges the viewer, but in very much a good way.
The disregard the human mind and imagination can have for logic is depicted perfectly by the narrative’s seeming similar disregard for both as we are not only told the story of Ingrid, but also her husband, and two of her neighbours. Reality and imagination often collide and merge, but Blind is cinema of the subconscious, and to analyse it too much risks missing the point; this is an examination of the unexplainable power of our imagination and is an incredibly effective depiction of not only how Ingrid’s other senses influence her attempts to maintain a visual imagination, but also the increasing influence of her growing sense of isolation and insecurity.
The narrative is however not simply just random for the sake of it, the story of each character is a delicate examination of Ingrid’s own sub conscience and her fears and desires, and as the narrative develops they only become increasingly vivid depictions of this. We the viewer are left to make or own decisions with regards to what is actually real, and it shows that Vogt respects the intelligence of the viewer, and this undoubtable makes Blind all the more engaging for it.
The performances from all four main actors are excellent and only enhance our engagement, and Ellen Dorrit Peterson is exceptional as Ingrid in what is a very challenging role. I of course do not know what it feels like to be blind, and seriously hope I never experience that, so I of course cannot ever state that this film is an accurate depiction of how a blind person thinks, but Blind is a film that allows the viewer to enter the subconscious and mind of its protagonist in a very unique, effective and unforgettable way. This is challenging and intelligent filmmaking of the highest order.
A unique and unforgettable examination of the mind and subconscious; Blind challenges the viewer and utilises the fact film is a visual medium to depict the mind-set of its protagonist with a deeply effective and unforgettable viewing experience.