Blindness and Seeing

Last night I watched the film Blindness – about an epidemic that spreads through a city causing people to suddenly go blind. It is a harrowing story that follows a group of people infected with blindness who have been quarantined and abbandoned in an asylum – a place which quickly descends into squallor and where morality breaks down.

It is a hard film to watch – shocking and very “real” – yet I felt it was obviously trying to portray something much more profound and meaningful (about society in general) yet it never quite delivered. It was only after, when the credits came up that I realised it was based on the novel by Portuguese nobel-prize winning author, José de Sousa Saramago, entitled Ensaio sobre a cegueira (literally translated: Essay on Blindness).

I am now very curious to read the book which I think is likely to be very powerful, and offer a more complex, deeper level to the story than what the film was able to project. What’s more, after a brief read on Wikipedia I see that Saramago wrote a sequel Ensaio sobre a lucidez (literally translated Essay on Lucidity – published in UK as Seeing) which takes place in the same city as Blindness and features several of the same characters. This piques my curiosity even more, and  I may very well be putting these two books on my reading list.

Chiara Priorelli, Publicity & Online Marketing Manager

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