[Nfbmo] Fw: Comments Needed for Blindness Review in O: the OprahMagazine

James Moynihan jamesmoynihan at kc.rr.com
Mon Nov 3 15:53:56 UTC 2008


Do we know how this movie is playing in theaters nationwide?


Jim Moynihan
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Linda Segebrecht" <linda at projectexplore.org>
To: "James Moynihan" <jamesmoynihan at kc.rr.com>
Sent: Friday, October 31, 2008 9:13 AM
Subject: Re: [Nfbmo] Comments Needed for Blindness Review in O: the 

> Thank you for sharing and I will send this on to the Board.  I was pleased 
> to see the movie was very short-lived in Kansas City and is no longer at 
> the theaters.  Unfortunately, we still have the DVD market to contend 
> with.
> Linda
> ----- Original Message ----- 
> From: "James Moynihan" <jamesmoynihan at kc.rr.com>
> To: <Linda at projectexplore.org>
> Sent: Thursday, October 30, 2008 1:36 PM
> Subject: Fw: [Nfbmo] Comments Needed for Blindness Review in O: the 
> OprahMagazine
>> FYI
>> Since the purpose of Dialogue in the Dark is to promote a positive image 
>> of blindness it would be appropriate to comment on this review in the 
>> Oprah magazine.Please share this with your Board of Directors and let me 
>> know what you think.
>> Cordially,
>> Jim Moynihan
>> ----- Original Message ----- 
>> From: "Freeh,Jessica (by way of David Andrews <dandrews at visi.com>)" 
>> <JFreeh at nfb.org>
>> To: <david.andrews at nfbnet.org>
>> Sent: Tuesday, October 28, 2008 4:18 PM
>> Subject: [Nfbmo] Comments Needed for Blindness Review in O: the 
>> OprahMagazine
>>         Dear Fellow Federationists:
>> It has come to the attention of the Public
>> Relations office at the National Federation of
>> the Blind-partly through e-mails from some of
>> these lists-that a positive review of the movie
>> Blindness appears in the October issue of O: the
>> Oprah Magazine.  The text of the review is pasted
>> below for your convenience.  Several of you have
>> already written to the magazine to express your
>> condemnation of its coverage of this outrageous
>> and offensive film.  If you have not already done
>> so, please consider submitting a comment on the
>> magazine's feedback form to explain why this film
>> is detrimental to blind people.  This link:
>> <http://www.oprah.com/contactus>http://www.oprah.com/contactus
>> will take you to the contact page, and from there
>> you will find a link to a comment form for the
>> magazine. The National Federation of the Blind
>> has submitted a comment and it is also pasted
>> below as a sample, but please feel free to use
>> your own words and your own personal experiences
>> to illustrate why this movie is inaccurate in the
>> degrading way in which it portrays blindness and
>> blind people.  If you have any trouble using the
>> feedback form on the Oprah Web site, please let
>> us know by contacting Anne Taylor, Director of
>> Access Technology, at
>> <mailto:ataylor at nfb.org>ataylor at nfb.org.  Thank
>> you for your assistance in this matter.
>> Sincerely:
>> Chris Danielsen
>> Review
>> O, the Oprah Magazine
>> October 2008
>> Live Your Best Life (LYBL) section
>> Page 68
>> Housewife Saves the World!
>> At last, a movie that portrays women's work as a heroic calling
>> It is a truth universally acknowledged that good
>> actresses in Hollywood are in want of good parts,
>> and even the juicy roles are too often defined by
>> the character's connection to a man. She's the
>> wife, the secretary, the mistress. She's strictly
>> support staff. So it is with Blindness, adapted
>> from José Saramago's novel about a mysterious
>> illness that makes a nation go blind. The female
>> characters are ID'd as if they were possessions:
>> the Doctor's Wife, the First Blind Man's Wife,
>> etc. (There's also the Woman with Dark Glasses,
>> but that's a euphemism-she's actually the Woman Who Sleeps with Men for 
>> Money.)
>> What's startling about Blindness is that for
>> once, the housewife gets to be the visionary.
>> Literally: The Doctor's Wife (Julianne Moore) is
>> the only one who's immune to the blinding virus,
>> though she loyally follows her husband (Mark
>> Ruffalo) into the quarantine wards, which soon
>> descend into squalor and madness. The Wife starts
>> out as a tippling, flute-voiced homemaker; as the
>> situation worsens, her pitch drops, her jaw sets,
>> and a gunmetal gleam of resolution lights up
>> those functioning eyes as she labors doggedly to
>> keep herself and her insta-family of fellow
>> detainees from plunging into utter depravity.
>> Blindness conjures a world where an ordinary gal
>> has a uniquely menial kind of greatness thrust
>> upon her, where the drudgery of mopping and
>> laundering is a noble calling and procuring
>> groceries is a do-or-die blood sport-a test of
>> leadership, in fact. Who would have thought it:
>> women's work as the stuff of movie heroism. -J.W.
>> Sample Comment
>> The National Federation of the Blind is shocked
>> and amazed to read the positive review of the
>> film Blindness in the pages of your October
>> issue.  This film is not about a heroic woman who
>> saves the world; rather, it is about blindness
>> and the myth that being sighted is inherently
>> superior to being blind.  The character played by
>> Julianne Moore is only superior to the other
>> characters in the story because she can see and
>> they cannot.  This formulation is offensive to
>> the nation's blind and furthers misconceptions
>> and stereotypes that the general public holds
>> about blindness and blind people.  The blind
>> people in the film are helpless, incompetent, and
>> morally degenerate; Moore's character is
>> portrayed as physically, spiritually, and morally
>> superior to them because she can see.  In the
>> world imagined by this film, the blind can only
>> be "saved" through the assistance of the
>> sighted.  This kind of thinking contributes to an
>> unemployment rate of over 70 percent among
>> working-age blind adults.  For this magazine to
>> endorse the world view of this film is to amplify
>> and affirm the film's offensive, demeaning, and
>> harmful portrayal of blind people.
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