20 January 2014 | SLUGMagazineFilms
Clever, Artful Movie...Go See It!
Plain and simple, My Blind Heart is a gorgeous film set in Vienna (spoken in German). Kurt (Christos Haas) lives with a rare condition, Marfan Syndrome, from which he is nearly blind. After he kills his mother, he misbehaves to the point of his caretaker's frustration while living in a home with others with handicaps, playing the part of both a victim of his disease and troubled kid abreacting to his undesirable situation. Shot in black and white, the film follows Kurt's disjunctured narrative, rife with flashbacks to his mother. He teams up with a young girl, Conny (Jana McKinnon), who's run away from home, and the two take residence in a flat left in shambles and disarray. Without any enforcement of the usual rules or societal dogma, the two young people engage in behavior indicative of a sort of psychological anarchy—Conny tapes his head into a plastic bag, which nearly causes asphyxiation, and Kurt lapses into bullying behavior toward Conny. The film unravels Kurt's disgruntlement with the trend of to-be parents' manipulation of genes to create "perfect," "defect"-less babies, and fosters a grudge against society with fantasies of physically destroying buildings—and Vienna itself. Haas performs brilliantly as Kurt oscillates between a self image of a competent, determined terrorist and somebody who is functionally invalidated by his blindness. The story builds to a grisly end as Kurt rekindles his friendship with Roberto (Robert Schmiedt), a non-actor with Down Syndrome who executes a stunning performance as well. The recurring image of Kurt's fragile body underpins a clever, artful movie that provides a smart commentary on handicaps and those who live with them in a war-waging fashion. See it if you can!