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“There is something so totally purging about blindness that one either is destroyed or renewed…”

Notes on Blindness

It started with tapes… One man’s diary of going blind…



Last year, film-makers James Spinney and Peter Middleton came on a residency to Metal Southend to develop their feature film Notes On Blindness

It is now our immeasurable pleasure to see how their work developed. And what work it is…


Notes On Blindness

Notes On Blindness


‘Cognition is beautiful’

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 the Emmy Award-winning short film of the same name, the feature version of Notes on Blindness takes a creative approach to the documentary form. Actors lip-synch to the voices of the family, embedding John’s original audio recordings within compelling cinematography and textured sound design. The result is a poetic and intimate story of loss, rebirth and transformation, documenting John’s extraordinary journey into ‘a world beyond sight’.




Notes On Blindness

Notes On Blindness