Notes on Blindness

Directed by Peter Middleton, James Spinney
90 Minutes
United Kingdom
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After losing sight, John Hull knew that if he did not try to understand blindness it would destroy him. In 1983 he began keeping an audio diary. Over three years John recorded over sixteen hours of material, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness. Published in 1990, the diaries were described by author and neurologist Oliver Sacks as, ‘A masterpiece… The most precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read.’Following on from the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name, Notes on Blindness is an ambitious and groundbreaking work, both affecting and innovative – and one of the most essential British documentaries of the year.


  • Highest Rating
    "CRITIC'S PICK. Magnificent. The tone of the narration is so wrenchingly honest that the film never lapses into self-pity or relies on mystical platitudes."
    Stephen Holden, The New York Times
  • Highest Rating
    "★★★★★ The genius of the film is in allowing us to understand and visualise the world of blindness… A beautiful, accessible and thoughtful work of art."
    Charlie Phillips, The Guardian
  • Highest Rating
    "Achingly poignant and startlingly immediate."
    Katie Walsh, Los Angeles Times
  • Highest Rating
    "A deeply sensitive interpretation of the subject's reflective testament on disability."
    John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter
  • Highest Rating
    "The filmmakers create art out of what too often is a documentary stopgap."
    Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
  • Highest Rating
    "Notes on Blindness is a moving, intimate documentary, a triumph of sound and image, and a poetic examination of love, loss, memory and marriage."
    Niall McArdle, Film Ireland Magazine
  • Highest Rating
    "This daring re-enactment of one man's going blind is not only successful, but deeply moving and enlightening."
    David Noh, Film Journal International
  • Highest Rating
    "A genuinely moving, profound and haunting experience that might change the way you perceive the sights and sounds around you."
    Avi Offer, NYC Movie Guru
  • Highest Rating
    "Befitting Hull's original project, Notes on Blindness is achingly, poignantly human."
    Tara Brady, Irish Times
  • Highest Rating
    "Notes on Blindness is an extraordinary film that wears its original genius lightly."
    Tom Birchenough, The Arts Desk
  • Highest Rating
    "As educational, entertaining and inspirational as its subject."
    Mark Kermode, The Observer (UK)
  • Highest Rating
    "A haunting, quietly affecting documentary."
    Edward Lawrenson, The Big Issue
  • Highest Rating
    "A deeply moving and unexpectedly uplifting film."
    Allan Hunter, The List
  • Highest Rating
    "[An] elegant, evocative and deeply affecting documentary."
    Wendy Ide, Screen International

Awards & Recognition

Best Documentary
British Independent Film Awards
Winner Special Jury Award
San Francisco Int'l. Film Festival
Golden Frog
Storytelling & Innovation Award
Sheffield Int'l. Documentary Festival

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