English writer and theologian John Hull, who went blind in the early 1980s and kept an audio diary of his experience, is the subject of this thought-provoking film, which takes an unusual if not always successful approach to the documentary form. Directors John Spinney and Peter Middleton build on their Emmy Award-winning short for this feature version, staging reenactments, set to the original recordings, with actors playing Hull (Dan Skinner) and his wife, Marilyn (Simone Kirby). The recordings (which Hull later turned into a book) are powerful, but the slight disconnect between the actors and the voices, particularly when they’re lip-syncing, is too distracting to allow full immersion. Hull, who died in 2015, is an auditory presence throughout but appears onscreen for only a few seconds; I wanted to see more of him.
Notes on Blindness
1 hour 30 min • 2016