Sunday, 21 February 2010


Dealing with the different ways in which blind people handle romantic situations, Juraj Lehotský’s debut feature follows the lives of four individuals over a period of three years. Peter, an avid piano teacher to blind children, is very happily married and plans to take his wife Iveta to the seaside for the first time. Miro eagerly pursues purblind girl Monika in spite of her parents’ intense disapproval. Pregnant Elena is concerned about her unborn child’s sight. Teenager Zuzanna, just beginning secondary school, searches the internet for love in the belief that she will be judged differently if people don’t know she’s blind. The stories are told with a quasi-documentary realism, and are bookended by surreal animated vignettes reminiscent of Georges Méliès.

Lehotský quietly examines his subjects with sensitivity, without excluding them from any definition of ‘normality’. Miro is shown as a typical man whose dual outsider status as blind and Romani means he is always treated differently, and through sharing his intimate moments of self-discovery, the audience instead comes to know him as a normal human being. By showing us in great detail the lives of blind people, Lehotský puts focus on the tactile dimension of cinema that is rarely acknowledged. As Zuzanna runs her hands over a pockmarked desk or writes with her specially-adapted typewriter, we as ‘viewers’ learn more about her life than words or pictures could say. Unusual and heartfelt, Blind Loves is a worthwhile watch, deftly handling multiple stories without sentimentally intertwining them at the end.

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