Skip to main content

OUT OF SIGHT

USA, 1993 (MIFF 1994, Documentaries)

Director: David Sutherland

Put away all your sentimental, politically correct assumptions about "inspirational" films and prepare to be strapped in for a ride through the surreal soap-umentary that is the life of thirty-four-year-old blind Californian cowgirl, Diane Starin. Candid, uncompromising and unexpected, this piece of Twin Peaks-ish nonfiction pulls no punches and neither does Starin. "I think people are ready for a story about a blind woman who's raising a family, having a career, or both. What I wonder is if they're ready for a blind woman who's in her thirties living with a man in his sixties (Herb), in a relationship that deals with alcohol and infidelity. In other words, I don't know if America is ready for a blind girl who isn't a goody two-shoes."

Displaying a talent for unfettered self-revelation, Starin unabashedly parades the messier aspects of her life (including the fact that she is cheating on Herb and has a rather self-interested view of his potentially imminent demise) and cruises roadhouses picking up hot-to-trot big bellied cowboys and salivating businessmen.

Though never sacrificing his subject's dignity for the rollicking good time, Sutherland takes us into the realm of the macabre when events from their past are restaged by the protagonists themselves. These highly stylised re-enactments combine with interviews, and fly-on-the-wall observations to shatter all stereotypes of the helpless and reliant sightless person. Few documentaries provide such edge-of-your-seat entertainment and sagacious perceptions.

See also...

JACK LEVINE: FEAST OF PURE REASON

Jack Levine, one of America's leading Social Realist painters, is outspoken, articulate and brilliant. His satirical work has caused controversy for years. Sutherland (director of Paul Cadmus. Enfant ... More »

PAUL CADMUS: ENFANT TERRIBLE AT 80

Back in 1934, while he was on the dole, Paul Cadmus "The ... Fleet's inn" . A Hoganhian painting of sailors and whores having a good time, was withdrawn from an exhibition because it offended an ... More »

DEATH AND TAXES

America's Most Wanted. The target of one of the most intensive manhunts in FBI history was shot to death in suspicious circumstances, his body mutilated and burnt beyond recognition. What crime had ... More »

TOTAL BABY

Infant rearing experts and entrepreneurs vie for the viewer's attention as they offer new and improved ways to create a baby for the 90s. We are offered the latest trends, from video aerobics for ... More »

TIME INDEFINITE

Ross McElwee's earlier film, Sherman's March, delighted MIFF audiences with its witty, charming and wonderfully eclectic insights into the heartland of America and his dreams of finding the perfect ... More »

BETWEEN THE TEETH

There's no stopping contemporary renaissance man David Byrne. The painter turned art-rocker who became a pop star has more recently turned his interests to photography, musical anthropology and ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director