October 1, 2008

Miramax ‘Saddened’ By Planned Protest

Miramax Films said it is "saddened" the U.S. National Federation of the Blind plans to protest the movie "Blindness" over its depiction of the sight impaired.

Co-starring Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover and Sandra Oh, the movie is the "compelling story of humanity in the grips of an epidemic of blindness," the film's Web site said in a synopsis.

"We are saddened to learn that the National Federation of the Blind plans to protest the film 'Blindness,'" the movie studio said in a statement. "Miramax Films and filmmaker Fernando Meirelles have worked diligently to preserve the intent and resonance of the acclaimed book by Nobel prize-winning author, Jose Saramago, that is a courageous parable about the triumph of the human spirit when civilization breaks down."

But the NFB, which reportedly plans to protest the film at theaters in 21 states, disagrees about the way blind people are depicted in the film.

"The movie portrays blind people as monsters and I believe it to be a lie," the BBC quoted Marc Maurer, president of the NFB, as saying. "The NFB condemns and deplores this film, which will do substantial harm to the blind of America and the world. Blind people in this film are portrayed as incompetent, filthy, vicious, and depraved. They are unable to do even the simplest things like dressing, bathing, and finding the bathroom. The truth is that blind people regularly do all of the same things that sighted people do."