Blindness to the world

written and directed by Andrzej Jakimowski

A wonderful film about the power of imagination and its role in our perception of the world. 

After seeing the film I was ecstatic and started looking for some reviews on the net.  Well, by misfortune I stumbled first upon a certain lukewarm review.  A very disappointing read.  Seems like the reviewer did not get anything of value from the film.  In his eyes it was flat and limping, sprinkled with some nice craftsmanship.   My reaction, on the other hand, was enthusiastic.  Who’s right?  Could I read too much into the screen?   Am I too sentimental?  Too unexperienced?  

With a subtle film, and Imagine is one, a think a thick skin reviewer can do a real damage to the perception of artistic work.  So let’s treat reviews with suspicion (says the guy who in a sense is about to give one!) 

Contrary to the lukewarm reviewer, in my take the love affair in the film is a vehicle for the exploration of imagination.  In the narrative, love is important but it is not what the film is about.  A blind man in the film tells others about the world.  He points to them unknown aspects of reality.   He teaches them how “to see.”

The message is somewhere between “fake it till you make it” pop culture approach to life and one of the critical assumptions of Transcendental Idealism in German philosophy.  (Two entries ago I telegraphed the problem of perception in Kant and Fichte in relation to the Siemek project, the documentary currently on my plate.)

Jakimowski, the director of Imagine, studied philosophy so it is safe to assume that he is versed in the role of imagination in constructing the reality.  He for sure knows Kant and Fichte.   But what’s beautiful about his script is that it also plays on normal, non philosophical, levels.  One of them could be also the filmmaking itself.  

Just like some film directors, the blind man in the story is a mixture of chutzpah, insight, lies and techniques that are not always working.  Yet, with the power of his conviction he creates the world, he gives people a way to see the reality.  Is he a fake?  Is the hero of “Imagine” a fake?  Maybe partly he is, or maybe he is just too confident.  But at the end his reading of the reality proves to be true.   And he gets the girl. 

What else is to want. 

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