Having recently lost her sight, Ingrid retreats to the safety of her home – a place where she can feel in control, alone with her husband and her thoughts. But Ingrid’s real problems lie within, not beyond the walls of her apartment, and her deepest fears and repressed fantasies soon take over.
Blind is a Norwegian drama film written and directed by Eskil Vogt. The film premiered in-competition in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition at 2014 Sundance Film Festival on January 19, 2014. Vogt received the Screenwriting Award for Blind at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. The film was later screened in the Panorama section of the 64th Berlin International Film Festival. The film has been nominated for the 2014 Nordic Council Film Prize.
Blind received positive reviews upon its premiere at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 100% of 20 film critics have given the film a positive review, with a rating average of 7.7 out of 10.
Scott Foundas of Variety, said in his review that “Ace Norwegian scribe Eskil Vogt makes a sparkling directorial debut with an alternately tragic and playful tale of a blind authoress.” Boyd van Hoeij in his review for The Hollywood Reporter called the film “An ambitiously constructed screenplay translates into a film that’s easier to admire than to love.”
William Bibbiani from CraveOnline praised the film by saying that “Blind exists as a nebulous construction, ever shifting but ultimately centered around a lovely and funny love-quadrangle with curious characters and consistent insight. The film’s curious blend of the sensual and the cerebral manages to engage even when you begin to lack confidence about whether anything is actually happening at all.”
Review for Bilnd Movie
A Norwegian woman who has lost her sight prefers to stay within the confines of her own home, memories and thoughts in Blind, the skillful if a tad cold directorial debut of screenwriter Eskil Vogt (Joachim Trier’s Reprise and Oslo, August 31st).
Though the film’s structure makes it very hard to warm to the protagonist until very late into the proceedings, Vogt finally manages to not only suggest what the world of a blind person must be like in terms of the countless everyday impracticalities but also what it could do to the inner life of a thirty-something woman who’s married and would’ve liked to have children.
The blind Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) opens the film in voice-over, conjuring up the image of a tree before the camera shows what she’s talking about. “Places are harder to remember,” she continues, describing how it helps if she’s frequented them often before she lost her eyesight. The film then shows at length what should in theory be a facile domestic task: making some tea and then sitting down to drink it. Already, Vogt is implying with the minute way of observing the action that it pays for the viewer to pay close attention to details.
Audiences will need to do just that, as the narrative, much of it accompanied by Ingrid’s voice-over, keeps introducing new material that’ll inspire double takes or necessitate backtracking through the story.
Ingrid introduces us to the lonely and somewhat portly Einar (Marius Kolbenstvedt), who is addicted to fetish-dominated porn (shown in all its explicit glory) though, as Ingrid remarks, “the Internet can’t tell him how it feels to touch those bodies.” Einar often spies on the lonely young woman who lives in the building across the street, Elin (Vera Vitali), a divorced Swedish mother whose shared custody of her child has made her a prisoner of Norway. In an early bravura sequence, Einar provides the sound to the mute image he sees of Elin in her flat by switching to the same TV channel and eating the same snack. It’s an early indication of the importance of sound in this story narrated by a blind woman.
There’s also the married architect, Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen), qualified by his wife as extremely boring, though apparently not boring enough to secretly communicate with Elin via Internet chat. The film’s first half toggles between the stories of these three characters and the narrator, as it gradually emerges that Ingrid, when home alone, has taken to writing stories and that not everything we see is necessarily real, as a meeting of old student buddies Morten and Einar at a café suggests when, suddenly, the background behind one of the characters suggests he’s been miraculously transported to another place though the conversation between the two simply seems to continue.
Directed by: Eskil Vogt
Starring: Ellen Dorrit Petersen, Henrik Rafaelsen, Vera Vitali, Marius Kolbenstvedt, Stella Kvam Young, Nikki Butenschøn
Screenplay by: Eskil Vogt
Production Design by: Jørgen Stangebye Larsen
Cinematography by: Thimios Bakatakis
Film Editing by: Jens Christian Fodstad
Costume Design by: Ellen Dæhli Ystehede
Set Decoration by: Solfrid Kjetså
Music by: Henk Hofstede
Release Date: January 19, 2014