Blindness 'Fascinating' But Difficult to Watch

Not that director Meirelles' film is necessarily bad
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 3, 2008 2:56 PM CDT

(Newser) Blindness is a hard film to watch, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a bad one. Some critics hated Fernando Meirelles’ parable about a plague of blindness; Roger Ebert called it “one of the most unpleasant, not to say unendurable, films I've ever seen.” But others appreciated the bleak tale. “By the time you walk out of the theater, you know you've seen something,” writes Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle.

Meirelles employs experimental, sometimes blurry camera work, which both intrigues and rankles. LaSalle calls the film “almost unbearably ugly,” while Neely Tucker of the Washington Post found it “fascinating to look at, but not nearly so interesting to watch.” The story is an equally ugly tale of human cruelty that worked great in Nobel laureate Jose Saramago’s novel but doesn’t translate well. To Tucker, it “feels like we're reading Post-it notes stuck into the margins of Nietzsche.”