‘Cognition is beautiful’
After losing sight, John Hull knew that if he did not try to understand blindness it would destroy him. In 1983 he began keeping an audio diary.
Over three years John recorded over sixteen hours of material, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness.
Published in 1990, the diaries were described by author and neurologist Oliver Sacks as, ‘A masterpiece… The most precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read.’
Following the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name, the feature version of Notes on Blindness takes a creative approach to the documentary form. Actors lip-synch to the voices of the family, embedding John’s original audio recordings within compelling cinematography and textured sound design. The result is a poetic and intimate story of loss, rebirth and transformation, documenting John’s extraordinary journey into ‘a world beyond sight’.
The film premiered at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival (alongside our sister Virtual Reality project) and went on to win the Special Jury Award at the 59th San Francisco Film Festival.
The film will be released in UK cinemas on 1st July and in the US later in the year. See our screenings page for further details.
Notes on Blindness is an Archer’s Mark production, in association with Fee Fie Foe Films and 104 Films, and in co-production with Agat Films & Cie and ARTE France. It has been supported by Creative England, British Film Institute, Impact Partners, ARTE France, Swedish Film Institute, BBC Storyville, Cinereach, BRITDOC, New York Times and PROCIREP-ANGOA.