MVFF: Imagine (A-)

Some films are almost impossible to categorize, and Imagine, written and directed by Andrzej Jakimowski, is one of them. It’s about a blind teacher, Ian (Edward Hogg) who brings controversial techniques to an institute for the blind. Instead of using canes to get around, he teaches echolocation, the use of sounds like heels on pavement and tongue clicks as a type of SONAR to identify objects and hazards. The kids and the management of the institute are quite skeptical of his techniques, but he persists.

Also living in the Portugese monastery where the institute is located is blind and beautiful Eva (Alexandra Maria Lara) who almost never emerges from her room. Can Ian draw her out?

The cast are all excellent. The cinematography by Adam Bajerski is beautiful, but (no surprise) one of the stars of this film is the sound, mixed masterfully by Guillaume Le Bras.

I’m not sure how this film is being distributed. We saw a very unusual screening of a print from Reel Abilities that included subtitles for the hearing impaired (eg, sound-effect descriptions) as well as an optional audio description for the visually impaired. These gave the film somewhat of a documentary feeling. It’s not, of course, even though it deals with a very real subject that most of us don’t know much about.

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