Notes on Blindness

Pete Middleton (2016)

U Certificate


Our Score
Sort of a documentary, kind of a drama, an essay of sorts, Notes on Blindness isn't quite like any film you've ever seen, unless of course you've seen Clio Barnard's wonderful, similarly sui generis work The Arbor which, like this, features actors lip-synching to audio recordings of real people talking about their lives. The life and voice at the centre of this richly evocative and thought-provoking film is that of John Hull, an Australian academic theologian living in the UK who went blind in 1980, and died, aged 80, in 2015. Determined to make sense of his experience, he started an audio diary on an old-school cassette recorder and those musings - some mundane, some funny, and some deeply profound - play out here with Dan Renton Skinner as Hull, and Simone Kirby his wife Marilyn. Although the transcript of his diary was eventually published under the title Touching the Rock, after seeing this it's almost hard to imagine that any medium other than cinema could so evocatively capture the strangeness of Hull's experience, especially when moments of surreal beauty like a rainstorm indoors capture the disorientation of its subject.


Premiere. Drama documentary based on the life of John Hull, who lost his eyesight in the 1980s and decided to document his experiences of understanding his condition with an audio diary, which he kept for three years. The film features actors lip-synching to the original recordings of Hull and his family as they share their thoughts on blindness.

Cast & Crew

John Hull Dan Renton Skinner
Marilyn Hull Simone Kirby
John Hull John Hull
Marilyn Hull Marilyn Hull
Director Pete Middleton
Director James Spinney
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Artificial EyeAvailable on: DVDReleased on: 1 Jul 2016