Then what kind of movies ARE ok that won't tick someone off???
Hollywood has trouble with portraying disabilities. Even when they try to do the right thing, they still manage to tick people off. That was the case for this summer's blockbuster comedy Tropic Thunder and it's happening again with this week's release Blindness.
In "Tropic Thunder," Kirk Lazarus (Robert Downey Jr.) tells fellow actor Tugg Speedman (Ben Stiller) to "never go full retard." The scene is hilarious, satirizing Hollywood stars' tendency to play disabled in pursuit of Oscar gold. Think Tom Hanks in "Forrest Gump" and Sean Penn in "I Am Sam." The film's satire, however wasn't appreciated by disability advocates who slammed the use of the R-word as "offensive and demeaning...it fuels social stigma against vulnerable people."
Fast forward a couple months and a similar controversy is playing out with Miramax's latest release. "Blindness," based on a book by Nobel Prize-winning author Jose Saramago and directed by Academy Award nominee Fernando Meirelles, depicts a city in the thrall of a virus that suddenly robs its citizens of their sight. Soon society collapses and stricken descend into a brutal Hobbesian new order. When the book came out, it was praised for its use of blindness as a metaphor. But as the movie is about to be released, it has been lambasted by Dr. Marc Maurer, President of the National Federation of the Blind.
"The National Federation of the Blind 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."
Miramax responded, "We are saddened to learn that the National Federation of the Blind plans to protest the film 'Blindness,'" and that director Meirelles "worked diligently to preserve the intent and resonance of the acclaimed book."
So, is the NFB justified in its criticism of the movie or are they missing the point? You can watch the first five minutes of the film below to decide for yourself.
"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."
Ok. So their argument is that they are portrayed as incompetent among other things. They have a problem with blind people being unable to do simple things like bathe, getting dresses, etc. YES, blind people can do these things. BUT, when a person is suddenly thrown into something they are unfamiliar with, they need time to adjust. People can't suddenly loose their sight and expect to funtion in the same manner as they have their entire lives. It's not like they suddenly develop sonar once their eyesight is gone. Attitudes and complaints regarding something in a movie is unecessary and rediculous. If you don't like it, don't watch it. That's why they have movies. SO you can see something not normally allowed to be aired on tv. To see something controversial. Something different.