'Blindness' film facing protest

'Blindness' film facing protest

Members of the US National Federation of the Blind (NFB) are planning to protest the release of Julianne Moore's new movie 'Blindness' - because the film portrays the blind as "monsters".

The movie, a big-screen adaptation of Jose Saramago's 1995 book of the same name, is about a small town which is thrown into social chaos when the residents are hit by a sudden epidemic and go blind.

But the plot has angered the NFB's 50,000 members and the organisation's leaders have called for a boycott of the movie when it hits US cinemas on Friday.

Marc Maurer, president of the NFB, says: "The movie portrays blind people as monsters and I believe it to be a lie."

"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."

The NFB's planned boycott action has "saddened" bosses at Miramax, the studio behind the film.

In a statement, they say director Fernando Meirelles "worked diligently to preserve the intent and resonance of the acclaimed book, that is a courageous parable about the triumph of the human spirit when civilisation breaks down".

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