Blindness, the new film by City of God director Fernando Meirelles, is set in a future where an epidemic of blindness has led to a breakdown in civilization, with hordes of blind people quarantined in asylums and basically losing all vestiges of human dignity. It’s also set to ruin all advances for the social acceptance of the blind, according to Marc Maurer, president of the National Federation of the Blind, who asserts that “blindness doesn’t turn decent people into monsters.” Meirelles reasons that the movie, which is based upon a 1995 novel by José Saramago, uses the affliction as a metaphor for a breakdown in communication. But ironically, Maurer’s organization isn’t hearing any of it. They’re planning to protest the movie at 75 theaters throughout the country on Friday in an effort to counter what they believe to be negative stereotypes relating to blindness. We’re actually surprised to learn that there were preexisting negative stereotypes about the blind, and that they included trading sex for food, soiling themselves, and generally acting like panicked savages. We mostly just associated the blind with Braille, seeing-eye dogs, and Daredevil, the vision-impaired superhero with badass ninja fighting skills.
’Blindness’ Angers the Actual Blind [Pop Eater/AP]