Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Johan van der Keuken

Johan van der Keuken's beautiful 1964 short about a school for the blind in Amsterdam, Blind Kind (Blind Child), has an unusual structure: the first seven minutes of the 25 minute film avoids picturing the blind students. Instead, we hear voice-over observations by several boys who talk about the experience of being blind; a sparse set of images complements their common sense and humor. Later, the hands of the students are shown as they read Braille and examine classroom objects. After this extended introduction, the camera is devoted to following individual blind students walking, running (second still), and maneuvering around tricky terrain (third still) and a busy sidewalk (fourth still). The sounds of traffic and urban life grow more pronounced and insistent as the film concludes.
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Documentary Starts Here by Nancy Kalow is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.