MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +1/2

Content: -4

Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Danny Glover, Alice Braga, Don McKellar. Thriller. Written by Don McKellar, Jose Saramago. Directed by Fernando Meirelles.

FILM SYNOPSIS: When an epidemic of blindness begins spreading, the government collars the victims and places them in quarantine. The story focuses on a small group trying to survive the callousness of Big Brother and the Lord of the Flies mentality of those who descend into animalistic behavior.

PREVIEW REVIEW: Suddenly people are left helpless, unable to see, unable to provide for themselves, abandoned by those who supposedly look out for us. Indeed, this film could be perceived as a depiction of the true nature of the political world. They look out for us so long as it serves their purpose. A cynical observation, yes, but one reflected in this film.

Blindness is morose, frightening and at times sickening. Not sure what the filmmakers purpose was, or if my conclusion was on their minds, but I left the theater grateful for sight, both visual and spiritual (though aware that my inner sight needs far more maturing and nurturing). Alas, the barbaric imagery and depiction of cowardess and cruel behavior made the experience disheartening.

DVD Alternatives: Awakenings. Robert DeNiro stars as a man is brought out of a catatonic state after 30 years. Although rated PG-13 for 4 obscenities and the use of an Ouija board in two scenes, it does carry a message of hope and a reminder that the soul needs to be nourished.

Bridge On The River Kwai. Although a different genre, this superb action adventure is about a morally lost man (William Holden) finding redemption. A psychological battle of wills, great action sequences, and a moving show of comradeship as POWs build a bridge for their captors.

The Hiding Place. A family rescues Jews during WWII in this true story of Corrie Ten Boom, who fought the evils of Nazism with love. A moving film about compassion and forgiveness. Imprisoned herself, she learned there is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still.?

Anne Frank Remembered. This poignant documentary works on several levels: a true life coming of age; the insight of a wise young girl; the human capacity to survive and look out for fellow human beings. Every teenager should see this film to learn of the destructiveness of bigotry and to be uplifted by the courage and power people can display. Filled with many intuitive moments, the film reminds us that soon no one will be here to tell the personal events associated with that horrific time. For example, the middle-aged son of a holocaust victim meets the woman who protected his father nearly 50 years ago. Two months after this meeting, the man died. Another moment had a sudden emotional impact on me. Real life film footage shows a parade during that period when suddenly the camera pans up the side of a housing complex, revealing people looking out the window at the commotion in the street. One of those people is the real Anne Frank. I remember bursting out in tears as that visual overwhelmed me. Im not sure why, other than the fact that here was this human being, full of life, and I realized that life would swiftly undergo change, then be snuffed out one day in a concentration camp. Its a hard image to view, yet one of the most moving ever caught on film. Anne Frank Remembered is rated PG (The atrocities of Hitler's concentration camps are briefly seen toward the end of the film).

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Miramax Films

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude sexual remarks made by men about to rape women.

Obscene Language: Around 30 obscenities, mostly the f-word.

Profanity: Around ten misuses of Christs name or Gods.

Violence: A bad group oppresses another by demanding they give their possessions then later their women for rape in exchange for food; the women go in order to save their men, but the cowardess of their men is sickening, not to mention the villains who would subject women to such cruelty; people are shot; a woman seeks revenge by killing one of the rapists; other physical violations; we see real footage of car accidents and plane crashes; these real life events are employed here to further the story as if they happened because the drivers and flyers had suddenly gone blind. Blood: some.

Sex: A few sexual situations and a couple of shots of women being raped.

Nudity: There are several nude scenes, mostly depicted with a non-sexual intent, merely to show the degradation of the people as their rights and freedoms are removed.

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: None

Other: The government is portrayed in a negative light.

Running Time: 120 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

Click HERE for a PRINTER-FRIENDLY version of this review.