Blind Loves (Slepe Lasky) (tbc)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner20/05/2009

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 77 mins

Outstandingly directed and powerfully emotional, this is an extraordinary documentary that's by turns heartbreaking, gently funny, extremely tense and deeply moving.

What's it all about?
Directed by the splendidly named Juraj Lehotsky, Blind Loves is a Slovakian documentary that explores the lives of four blind people and the ways in which they've found love. Lehotsky's subjects include: Peter, a music teacher, who lives with his similarly blind wife Iveta and immerses himself in a vivid fantasy life; Miro, a Roma Gypsy, who's fallen for partially sighted white girl Monika, only to find that her parents don't approve of her new relationship; Elena, who's expecting her first child with her blind husband and wondering how she'll cope; and Zuzana, a teenager about to go on a literally blind date with a boy she met over the internet, who doesn't know she can't see.

The Good
The film is shot in a stripped down, purely observational style – there's no voiceover narration, no captions and no to-camera interviews or talking heads. This makes it all the stranger when Lehotsky suddenly gives us an animated underwater fantasy sequence (representing Peter's fantasy life) in which Peter has an encounter with an octopus while Iveta sits inside a submarine, obliviously knitting.

The first segment is extremely sweet and gently funny in places, e.g. a shot of Peter running to work or a sequence in which he listens to ski jumping on the television and tries to predict the distance of each jump. However, the second segment is almost unbearably tense – most notably in a heart-stopping disco scene where Monika almost gets stolen away by a younger man.

The Great
Lehotsky shot three years' worth of footage, so it's perhaps a little surprising that the finished film is only 77 minutes long. However, this does allow for a delightful epilogue, in which we catch up with each of the characters; without giving too much away, one of these sections contains a sequence that's easily one of the most joyous scenes of the year.

Worth seeing?
Blind Loves is a powerfully emotional, superbly directed documentary that's well worth seeking out. Highly recommended.

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Content updated: 21/08/2018 06:40

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