CVI recently purchased a copy of the inspirational and educational film, “Going Blind: Coming Out of the Dark About Vision Loss”. This film is a documentary by Peabody Award-winning producer/director Joseph Lovett. Lovett uses the media of documentary film to explore not only his own journey as he progressively loses his vision due to glaucoma, but also weaves into the film the experiences of others that are blind or have low vision.
The film begins with Lovett’s story and voice. He shares his personal experience with vision loss and throughout the course of the film allows the viewers to witness his daily experiences, fears, challenges and successes as a person with low vision. In his quest to understand and hopefully one day accept the realities of his progressive condition, he interviews and visits with others in New York City and around the country that have experienced vision loss. Characters highlighted through the film include a 32-year-old children’s art teacher who is blind due to diabetic retinopathy; a 22-year-old veteran who became blind from combat-related incident; an 11 year-old with low vision due to albinism; and an 85 year old architect with age-related macular degeneration.
The work of vision rehabilitation specialists is displayed throughout the film, as each character explains the role of training and devices in order to function and thrive independently in their daily lives. The film also gives a medical tutorial on each eye condition and gives an explanation of what each person can and cannot see while educating the viewer on the range of experiences along the spectrum of vision loss.
As a sighted person, new to my position at CVI and working with individuals with visual impairments, I appreciate how this film does a very thorough job of displaying a cross-section of experiences. It doesn’t shy away from difficult topics like debilitating depression, fear, anxiety and disability-related unemployment. The collective impact of the stories told by each person interviewed in the film promotes the understanding that vision loss cuts across all human realities: age, race, gender, sexuality, abilities, professions, etc.
I found this film to be a great tool for supporting individual empowerment, educating and raising awareness about visual impairment. Below is a short video providing more information about the film. For more information, please visit www.goingblindmovie.com.