BLIND Director Eskil Vogt

More than a film about a medical condition, “Blind” is about our inner lives – the beautiful, ugly and sexual thoughts and feelings that boil underneath the surface in us all, blind or seeing. Still, I found blindness to lead straight into that inner world. When you lose your sight objective reality seems to lose some of its ability to correct your imagination, to keep your thoughts in check. In fact, it can be argued that when you’re blind your thoughts are your reality.

The woman in the story has lost her sight and retreated to her apartment and to a place where she can feel in control, inventing a world where she is all-powerful. But, of course, her problems aren’t outside of the walls of her apartment, they are within her, and her innermost fears and repressed fantasies soon take hold of her fictions.

I wanted this film to be a celebration of creativity, of storytelling, the urge to manipulate in order to create something beautiful, funny, interesting and even touching, our need to invent stories to make sense of the world and our inner turmoil. Incidentally, the first storyteller we know of, Homer, is represented as blind. And this also was the fate of Jorge Luis Borges.

Blindness also gives a unique take on the most contemporary of themes: the exaggerated importance of the visual in our modern world, how we are bombarded with pictures, our obsessive preoccupation with our image, our desire to see and to be seen and desired.

Since we live in this constant flood of visual clichés I felt an obligation with this film to try to make something a little different. My ambition was to make something that might just manage to pull us out of our viewing habits and see things afresh, see ourselves and the world we live in in a new and slightly twisted way.

Eskil Vogt on the set of BLIND

And paradoxically, dealing with blindness, I felt I had the possibility to take advantage of the whole range of cinematic tools. For what is closer to the essence of the art of film than the theme of seeing/not seeing? Light and darkness? To observe or be observed?

In our visual culture our experiences tend to be tainted by all we have seen – everything is reduced to an already consumed cliché before we have the chance to experience it for ourselves.

It is interesting to note that the tactile, the touch, so vital to blind people, is much harder to use and exploit in our visual and audial media. It could be argued that touching someone – and even more importantly: being touched – might be the purest experience left to us, certainly the most intimate. Maybe that is what the characters in this story long for more than anything: a kind caress, a passionate embrace.

Oslo, March 2013

Eskil Vogt

BLIND is available on DVD, Blu-ray and VOD through AX1 Films.