Notes on Blindness at Real Art Ways

Skip to main content


Notes on Blindness

Oliver Sacks, the great neurologist, wrote that John Hull’s memoir, On Sight and Insight: A Journey into the World of Blindness is “the most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read.”

When theologian John Hull (1935-2015) lost his sight at age 48, he embarked upon an audio diary, recording the physical and emotional transformations he experienced, as well as his brilliant, sophisticated philosophical observations on this life-changing event.

Middleton and Spinney dramatize Hull’s life and words: “I am concerned to understand blindness, to seek its meaning, to retain the fullness of my humanity.” He becomes aware of what he can experience, perhaps with even greater intensity: listening to music or the sound of rain falling onto different surfaces, dancing with his wife, feeling sunlight on his face, dreams, and memories.

Intimate and immersive, the film embraces one man’s successful struggle to employ his intellectual and sensual resources to navigate this great trauma.

"This is not just a tale of struggle and courage, a relearning of the world's signals, however, but also a moving portrait of family life."

Kate Muir, Times (UK)

"Notes on Blindness is a moving, intimate documentary, a triumph of sound and image, and a poetic examination of love, loss, memory and marriage."

Niall McArdle, Film Ireland Magazine

"Achingly poignant and startlingly immediate."

Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times

"The tone of the narration is so wrenchingly honest that the film never lapses into self-pity or relies on mystical platitudes."

Stephen Holden, New York Times

"A genuinely moving, profound and haunting experience that might change the way you perceive the sights and sounds around you."

Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru