For a Better Vision

Cinema is visual entertainment. It seems only fair then that filmmakers are obsessed with themes around seeing and not seeing. Not being able to see provides an intensely dramatic plot, with regaining one’s vision often constituting the climax. Whether melodramas, comedies, or even documentaries, plots are often constructed in such a way to achieve “better vision”.
This year’s Desmet selection contains fewer comedies and more dramas. The consequences of not being able to recognize a face or read a letter, and constantly being dependent on others, are so powerful that blindness seems to be more often used for drama.
As usual, this year’s compilation consists of fiction and non-fiction films (from 1910-1915), relevant to the same theme in very different ways. The programme brings together various films in which men or women go blind and then recover their vision; there’s also a charity fashion show to help the blind, as well as films in which characters pretend to be blind, and others in which doctors perform eye surgery to overcome blindness.

Elif Rongen-Kaynakçi