random thoughts

Random thoughts: Blindness

More often than not, I find myself wide away at the 10:30 p.m. instead of nestled snuggly in my bed and, after completing the work for my content management business, I decided to watch the TV to help me along the way to dream land. Because of the late hour, I’ve had the fortune of viewing some not so amazing movies. They are usually B list sci-fi movies which I absolutely love because of the standard Saturday tradition I had with my mother of watching them together via phone. I’ve seen everything from zombie apocalypses to a movie satire explaining how lying was invented. I’ve also seen the non-science fiction movies—the Lifetimes and dramas if you will. Last night was a similar piece for me. Last night, I stumbled across a little gem featuring Jodi Foster called Blindness.

Blindess is a movie in which the majority of the world quite suddenly and frighteningly go blind. It starts with a young Japanese businessman going suddenly blind while out in the city. People attempt to come to his aid, one even offering to take him home…only to steal his call. The Japanese man’s wife comes home that evening, sees her husband’s blindness, and takes him to the ophthalmologist who can find nothing wrong. The next morning, the doctor awakes and finds that he has also gone blind along with other city residents. This causes a huge panic and the government (which really is awful in this picture) requires all of the blinded citizens to go to quarantine (think prisoner camps). The ophthalmologist’s wife goes with the doctor and pretends that she has lost her sight too so that she can stay with him.

When other people arrive, it’s discovered that the blindness has gone international and many people are facing it. The conditions in the quarantine become horridly nasty with no organization or outside help. When there is a shipment of food that arrives, people from Ward 3 take over the food with a pistol and demand valuables and then women in exchange for food. Finally fed up with all of the horror, the doctor’s wife kills the leader of Ward 3 and collects the food—starting a “war” inside the quarantine. One of the Ward 1 (doctor’s unit) residents sets fire to the facility and the men who raped and pillaged are burned to death among some of the inmates. Because the doctor’s wife can see, she leads out a small group of survivors only to discover the guards who were watching the facility have abandoned the location and they are free.

The doctor’s wife leads the small band to a safe location while she finds food (because they are starving) and then, later, to the home she shares with her husband. The group goes to the home and enjoys dinner and hot showers/baths. They discuss how beautiful they all look even though only one has sight. One of the group wistfully wishes that it could remain the way it is—with no one having sight and everyone depending on each other.

The next morning, while the doctor’s wife is pouring coffee for the Japanese businessman, his sight suddenly returns. It’s a sign that similar things may occur for everyone else. But we don’t know because the screen goes black after a shot of the city.

K. That was the short cliff notes version. It has a lot more in it than that. I write all of that to place in my random files as a movie that I…liked…kind of…sort of….but didn’t really enjoy because the ending was so awful. I can’t say what made me sit up and watch that thing to the very end, but I enjoyed the discussion I had with my husband and mother-in-law the next day when I told them about it.

What if, like Danny Glover’s character spoke, the world was truly like that? What if we were blind? What is every one of every color, creed, gender, etc. had to depend on each other to survive in a world without sight? Would we be helpful to one another? Or would we be like some of the characters in the movies and harm others?

I’d like to think the former, that in a time of crisis, humanity will make the best of a horrible situation. I’d like to think so, but I doubt it. Which is sad.  Have we really fallen that far as humans that I can’t see us coming together in a moment to help each other instead of turning on each other?
Something to think about.


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