Well it seems yesterday is supposed to be our last day of rain until fall. And horribly hot this coming week. If today is any indication, they may be right! Last night I watched a movie on tv which I had never heard of, etc. and even though it had a lot of problems, it kept me to the end. Blindness, the movie. Directed by the same man who directed City of God, which surprised me no end.
Julianne Moore was the main character in the story. Seems the world was suddenly infected with a mysterious illness, which suddenly with no warning would render the victim totally blind. When it first develops, the people in charge decided to round up all the blinded victims and put them in a concentration camp due to the highly infectious disease. Julianne's doctor husband has become blind so he is condemned to the camp. When the van and all the suited guards come for him, Julianne joins him even though she is not blind.
The camp is of course pretty close to hell on earth. Thousands of blind people with nothing to do but sit and wait for their food allotments to be delivered. Armed guards, gates and fences surround them. Any who protest or try to get out are gunned down. Julianne is in a special hell as she can see all the filth, desperation, and conditions of their surroundings. And her husband is resentful that he is pretty well dependent upon her.
As in all concentration camps, everyone, regardless of their past, their standing in the community, their possessions, are now reduced to a mass of humanity, of all colors, races, gender, etc. And since it happened in a flash, so to speak, there was no chance to try and recover from the shock of sudden blindness. Also since it seems to be an unknown disease, and highly contagious, they become like the lepers of old. Ostracized and outcast from society.
Groups of people are put into wards, with food being doled out to the wards for distribution to the inmates. Naturally one of the wards has a demonic moron leader who finds a loaded gun and after shooting a few rounds, terrifies all. He decides to take all the food and distribute as he sees fit. First he asks for any valuables in exchange for food, then he tells each ward to send their women to him and depending on their performance, food will be sent back with them. Things are going downhill fast and then the bully kills one of the women by beating her to death. Julianne has kept her eyesight a secret from all except her husband. Being able to see what is going on, and the man in charge of this terroism, she finds a pair of sissors and ends up killing the bully. His cohorts know something is wrong with him but, of course, can't see what is happening and who did it. One "yes man" of the bully is an older man, who was blind before the epidemic and thus, has more perception of what is going on around him by sounds, etc. He recognizes her voice but doesn't know what she looks like.
The ward with Julianne and husband has a meeting and decides they are going to fight the evil ward leaders and get their rightful allotment of food, as well as no more mistreatment of their women. The ones who decide to fight join together and led in front by Julianne head for the bad ward. Meanwhile a meek woman in the ward runs ahead of them and quietly sneaks up behind the "yes man" and while he is yelling, "who's there?", she sets fire to a hanging cloth behind him and the evil ward erupts into flames. Julianne and her group turn back and goes to the outside enclosure and are able to open the gates and escape to the outside world. I did not understand where the guards disappeared to, but thought maybe they had developed the disease too and there were no people left to guard the blind, being blind themselves.
So now our adventure is in the city, which is of course pure chaos. Packs of dogs are eating the dead on the streets, people are hunting desperately for food while stumbling through the streets. Supermarkets are stripped of all foods and goods. Julianne and her group find shelter inside a building temporarily and Julianne and her husband go out to find food. They find a grocery store and Julianne tells her husband to stay outside. She goes in but soon realizes there is no food left, as desperate people stumble through the store, hunting for food. While everyone is stumbling and falling around the store, Julianne sees stairs going down below. She goes down a huge flight of stairs and finds a wealth of food. Loading up as much as she can in two bags (guess she had them with her??) and goes back upstairs. She tries to go outside to her husband but the people inside hear her and start trying to stop her and see if she has food. She screams and her husband stumbles in and together they fight their way outside and start for their group.
They find their group and lead them to another building upstairs to an abandoned former apartment. During all this, rain starts coming down and everyone is ecstatic about this. They all stop what they are doing and proceed to bask in the rain. I didn't quite understand this. Has it not rained for a long long time? At first I even thought maybe the rain would be some sort of healing surprise but no, they just all loved the rain. Meanwhile our sturdy group goes out to balcony and take showers in the rain. They gather rain and wash some of the others inside the apt. They pour wine and eat food with candlelight. The next morning as Julianne is making coffee, one of the men in their group is sitting at the counter, and when Julianne sets a cup of coffee for him, he suddenly realizes he is able to see. Everyone is ecstatic about this. Julianne steps out to the balcony, looks at the sunrise and smiles as the picture ends.!!!
As you can see, there are many, many, many questions about this movie. I cannot believe the same person who directed City of God directed this movie. There were a few momentous scenes, such as the tenderness of the women who carried their dead companion from her fatal beating back to their ward and wiped the blood from her and covered her. The compound scenes well depicted the grime and hopelessness of their situation (a faint remembrance of the concentration camp of District 9). But the scenes outside in the city was very puzzling. When Julianne finds the cache of food, there appears to be hanging salami, etc. which she eats. How long have they been there and why have the packs of dogs not found them? I could see canned goods, but how would meat last? Maybe there was a door between the dogs and the food but wasn't sure. And another thing, while sitting in despair and watching the dogs eat dead people, a lone dog and a big one too boot, comes to Julianne. I was worried about this but she just sat there. The dog ends up licking her on the face and goes home with her. What, this was a better than average dog? And I guess dogs weren't affected by this disease. Only animals in the film so I guess all the rest had long disappeared.
As I said, never heard of this movie before, and yet, I watched it. Had to see what happened. Hmmm. Anyone else seen this one?