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Review: ‘Blind’ lets struggling woman’s imagination run wild

Fantasy meets a blind woman’s reality in the stark, surrealist Norwegian film “Blind,” from “Oslo, August 31st” writer Eskil Vogt in his feature directorial debut.

Ingrid (Ellen Dorrit Petersen) has degenerating eyesight, which has increasingly relegated her to the safety of her apartment. Through Ingrid we acutely feel the struggles of a newly blind person, learning how to take care of her simplest needs.

She wonders about her husband, Morten (Henrik Rafaelsen). Is he sending innocuous work emails or chatting with other women online? Her idle, imaginative mind, denied one of her senses, wanders into a world of paranoid fantasy.

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In order to cope, she envisions scenarios in her head involving lonely single mom Elin (Vera Vitali) and porn-obsessed loner Einar (Marius Kolbenstvedt), who are, indeed, real people. To say how the imagined story lines play out would be a spoiler, but suffice it to say it’s hard to discern initially what’s real and what’s not. As the scenarios get more and more outlandish, the stakes get higher and higher.

The film is allegorical, a vehicle for exploring themes of seeing and being seen, intimacy and sex, motherhood and interpersonal connection. The audience is brought along on the mysterious journey, unable to trust fully what we’re seeing on screen.

It’s a fascinating exploration of the things that can thrive in the soil of a jealous mind, fertilized by suspicion and a lack of sight.

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“Blind.”

No MPAA rating.

Running time: 1 hour, 36 minutes.

Playing: Cinefamily, L.A. Also streaming on Fandor.com.

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