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Notes on Blindness U rating

James Spinney and Peter Middleton's highly original documentary uses cinematic interpretations and textured sound design to express a ‘world beyond sight.’

Documentary 2016 87 mins

Director: James Spinney and Peter Middleton



Filmmakers James Spinney and Peter Middleton accomplish a seemingly impossible task – visually capturing the internal essence of blindness. In 1983, following a decade of deterioration, writer and theologian John Hull lost all traces of sight sensation and, to help him make sense of this upheaval in his life, began to record an audio diary documenting his discovery of ‘a world beyond sight.’ With scenes from his life re-created by actors miming to Hull’s original recordings, this documentary offers an illuminating and deeply personal testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal.

Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks described Hull’s diaries as ‘the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read,’ and with them the filmmakers have crafted an insightful and innovative work.