The problem with making end of year lists is that they can never be fully inclusive of everything that was released that year. Then you spend the following months catching up with the Oscar nominations, and before you know it the year before is a distant memory. Which is why this year I have made a concerted effort to ensure I don’t forget about the many great documentaries and 2015 releases I wished I had made time to see.
I had heard a lot of talk of “Blind” on the Film Movement website among other outlets, and this surreal feature from Eskil Vogt that blurs the lines of reality with dream-like memories, completely blew me away. It focuses on Ingrid, a woman who is now bound to her apartment through the inability to see. She wasn’t always blind, this is a result of slowly degrading eyesight and it captures the difficulties faced when having one of your key senses slowly stripped away from you.
She stays at home, in the same routine, just wondering about people she knows or perhaps had met. She thinks about her husband and what he gets up to, the mind playing tricks on her as she is unable to know for sure whether he actually leaves to go to work, or if he just stays and watches her plod about the house in a state of voyeurism. Or maybe that’s what she wants to think is happening.
The story skips between this relationship, and other individuals subtly tied to her either through previous visions or tenuous links that she may or may not have created in her subconscious. It’s a confusing tale at first, suitably designed to give the disorientation Ingrid experiences on a daily basis. As the clarity and control of the situation begins to slip away, the paranoia and uncertainty creep in, culminating in scenes of uncomfortable tension.
It is a skilfully executed drama, with outstanding performances and a story that lures you in out of pure intrigue. Much like Ingrid, we are never really sure what is taking place on-screen, but it remains a consistently elaborate yet competent tale that by the end will have you questioning all of what you just watched. Very few dramas manage to accomplish this level of understated thrill without actually stepping into thriller territory – unnerving, but refreshingly honest.