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"The most extraordinary, precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read. It is to my mind a masterpiece." – Neurologist and author Oliver Sacks

In 1983, facing complete blindness after years of deterioration in his eyesight, Melbourne-born academic John Hull attempted to come to terms with this "world beyond sight" by recording hours of his thoughts and feelings onto audio cassette across a period of three years. The tapes offer a revealing and often heartbreaking account of a life in upheaval, particularly when Hull tries to describe his newborn son, whom he cannot see.

Using these recordings as their basis, writer/directors James Spinney and Peter Middleton expand upon their award-winning short film, Notes on Blindness Rainfall (MIFF 2013), and employ actors to recreate Hull's journey, creating a fascinating hybrid documentary cinema that is visually and aurally immersive. The resulting work is both deeply moving and a compelling exploration of the medium's potential.

"It's an account that makes you pause to listen – and presents the act of perception itself as cause for wonder." – Filmmaker

Explore the story further with Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness, presented as part of our Virtual Reality spotlight.

The Saturday 30 July session screens with an enhanced sound design, created specifically to be inclusive for sighted and non-sighted audience members. More info here. MIFF Artistic Director Michelle Carey and Jan Dale, sister of the film’s subject, will introduce the session.

D/S Peter Middelton, James Spinney P Peter Middelton, James Spinney, Mike Brett, Alex Usborne, David Coujard WS Cinephil TD DCP/2016


Code Date Session Venue Wishlist
3101 30 Jul 2016
1:45 pm
Past event
8711 10 Aug 2016
6:30 pm
Hoyts Melbourne Central Cinema 10
Past event
7811 12 Aug 2016
6:45 pm
Hoyts Melbourne Central Cinema 3
Past event

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To book a wheelchair space or to advise of other access requirements, please contact Box Office on (03) 8660 4898 or email

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