20 April 2006 | SONNYK_USA
First-person documentary is NOT about talking heads, but the visual beauty one can lose when blinded!
Being born blind necessitates accommodation to the sighted world from day one, but what kind of struggle does a person face when blinded much later in life.
In Hugues de Montalembert's case, not only was his sight taken away but it was the primary sense he utilized for maintaining his chosen profession as a painter. All it took was one mugger's desperate gesture to render him disabled and forever unemployed.
Rather than try to re-create the circumstances and do a straight interview with Hugues, director Gary Tarn has undertaken a much more artistic approach to show just what has been lost when you leave the sighted world for one of darkness or extreme blurriness.
While Hugues retells his struggles during the intervening years, the screen is filled with images of life in New York city and occasionally the blurry view that Hugues would have of the same scenes the viewer can observe with perfect clarity.
Not for all tastes, but if you're sick of 'talking-head' fact-flicks then this meditation on loss and rehabilitation could be of value. You never know when you might find yourself struck blind either accidentally or as the victim of a crime. This film helps to fill in some of the details of that worst-case scenario.