The first footage has gone online for Blindness, directed by Fernando Meirelles (City of God, The Constant Gardener) and adapted from the acclaimed novel by Portugese writer Jose Saramago.
The story concerns an unnamed city which is hit by an epidemic of sudden blindness. The authorities, panicking in the face of this unexplained, highly contagious epidemic, segregate the newly-blind and all who have come into contact with them. The blind increasingly suffer both social breakdown and personal degradation. It is not long before the criminal element within the isolated asylum take over, the compound is set on fire and the blind escape – only to find a deserted, looted city.
Mark Ruffalo plays a doctor (ironically, an eye doctor) who falls victim to the blindness, while Julianne Moore is his wife who is, inexplicably, the only person immune to the epidemic. She has to feign blindness, though, in order to stay by her husband’s side when the segregation begins. She cares for her husband, along with a rag-tag group of some of his patients and others who have been struck blind. Gael García Bernal plays the leader of one of the gangs formed within the compound.
Meirelles has great form, having had Oscar success for both himself, his films and his actors. He has a terrific source novel to work with here and earlier set reports indicate that the look of the film in incredibly evocative. One to watch out for.