Blind Item: Activists To Protest "Blindness" Movie

First African-Americans were up in arms over Robert Downey Jr’s “black face” portrayal of an African-American soldier in Tropic Thunder, then representatives for the mentally challenged generated a heap of controversy over the use of the word “retard” in the film. Now, blind people are taking offence to director Fernando Meirelles’ Blindness, a movie, based on a book, in which the inability to see is merely a metaphor. Still, advocates find the depiction of the blind in the film offensive and are planning to protest the Miramax movie.

AP: Blind people quarantined in a mental asylum, attacking each other, soiling themselves, trading sex for food. For Marc Maurer, who’s blind, such a scenario — as shown in the movie “Blindness” — is not a clever allegory for a breakdown in society.

Instead, it’s an offensive and chilling depiction that Maurer fears could undermine efforts to integrate blind people into the mainstream.

The organisation plans to protest the movie, released by Miramax Films, at 75 theatres around the country when it’s released Friday. Blind people and their allies will hand out fliers and carry signs. Among the slogans: “I’m not an actor. But I play a blind person in real life.”

“We face a 70 per cent unemployment rate and other social problems because people don’t think we can do anything, and this movie is not going to help — at all,” said Christopher Danielsen, a spokesman for the organisation.

“Blindness” director Fernando Meirelles, an Academy Award nominee for “City of God,” was shooting on location Thursday and unavailable for comment, according to Miramax. The studio released a statement that read, in part, “We are saddened to learn that the National Federation of the Blind plans to protest the film ‘Blindness.'”

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