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Blindness | A chilling parable

Based on a novel by Nobel Prize-winning author José Saramago and directed by Brazilian filmmaker Fernando Meirelles (maker of City of God and The Constant Gardener), Blindness is a chilling parable set in an unnamed city stricken by an epidemic of blindness. As more and more of the population become infected, the authorities attempt to control the outbreak by quarantining the afflicted in a crumbling, abandoned mental asylum and leaving them to fend for themselves.

Doctor’s wife Julianne Moore can see yet pretends to be blind so that she can stay beside her husband, played by Mark Ruffalo, and becomes an appalled witness as the overcrowded asylum descends into a hellish dystopia. With no outside interference or restraints, it is the most ruthless, most unscrupulous and most vicious inmates – led by Gael García Bernal’s self-proclaimed king of ward three  – who create the rules whereby this nightmarish society is run.

As we face the possibility of apocalyptic economic collapse and/or ecological catastrophe, this allegorical horror thriller joins Alfonso Cuarón’s grim Children of Men (which also starred Moore, curiously enough) as a terrifying vision of the anarchic future that may lie in store for us.

Released on 30th March

A film critic for over 25 years, Jason admits the job can occasionally be glamorous – sitting on a film festival jury in Portugal; hanging out with Baz Luhrmann at the Chateau Marmont; chatting with Sigourney Weaver about The Archers – but he mostly spends his time in darkened rooms watching films. He’s also written theatre and opera reviews, two guide books on Rome, and competed in a race for Yachting World, whose great wheeze it was to send a seasick film critic to write about his time on the ocean waves. But Jason is happiest on dry land with a classic screwball comedy or Hitchcock thriller.