Blind Loves (Slepe Lasky)
A film directed by Juraj Lehotsky, 2007, 77 minutes. On release
A Slovakian film portrays the joy and sorrow of blind people as they long for human companionship. Keith Sellick reviews
Love is blind is a cliché as old as love itself, but what happens when the lovers themselves truly cannot see?
In Blind Loves, a Slovakian film by Juraj Lehotský, the love lives of four blind people are portrayed. They face the same vicissitudes as sighted people while overcoming the loss of the one sense that is so much associated with the emotion.
Peter is a music teacher who lives with his wife and works at a school for sight-impaired children where he prepares a class for a concert performance. In the evening, Peter listens to the TV, while his wife knits him a sweater the size of which is estimated by her touch alone.
Miro is in love with Monika, a partially sighted women, who has to lie to her parents when the two visit the fair or go camping together. He declares his love to her and faces the displeasure of her parents. Although, we are unsure whether the object of the parent’s displeasure is Miro’s blindness or his Roma ethnicity.
There is a scene where they go to a nightclub only for a young man to ask Monika for a dance. Miro waits for her for a while then walks in a jealous mood around the dance floor to find her. The two argue briefly before making up like any other sighted couple.
Elena is pregnant and muses on the fact that she will never see her child. She and her husband discuss whether it is best for the child to be born blind – for they can all share their experiences – or for the child to be sighted and the family grow up together but different.
Zuzana is a teenage girl searching for love online. She discusses boys with her sighted friend at the swimming pool and meets a potential lover in an online chat room, where they imagine what it would be like to have superhuman powers. Her fear is that “most people mind when they find out I’m blind”.
Touches of humour
But beyond the difficulties, there are touches of humour and emotional fragility as honesty and the other senses are brought to the fore.
Peter gives an ironic commentary as he opens and feels his Christmas present – the sweater. Miro tells a pregnant Monika, who has to choose between him and her parents, that even if she doesn’t love him as he loves her they should be together rather than face a life of loneliness apart.
Elena takes her sighted young child to a cinema where he tells her what is happening in the cartoons on screen. Zuzana is lost in contemplation when listening to classical music but soon returns to her online search for boyfriends.
The film, part documentary-style, part fantasy, is both respectful and tender and shows that, even without the sense of sight, love can be found.
This article is published in the 11 June issue of Community Care magazine under the heading Senses of love