Cleveland International Film Festival } March 22 – April 1, 2023 } Playhouse Square

Notes on Blindness

Year: 2016
Run Time: 87 minutes

Notes on Blindness
Notes on Blindness
Notes on Blindness

In 1983, just days after the birth of his son, John Hull went blind. After a lifetime of issues with his sight, Hull was told the loss was permanent. His training as a theologian, as well as his standing as a lecturer and researcher, motivated him not to surrender his place in the world, but rather to explore his blindness and try to make sense of it. He built a team of people to record the great books he needed to read, amassing hundreds of cassettes. Then John began his own audio journal—his own notes on blindness—to document his journey into the profound impact this sensory loss would have on his work, his family, and his new relationship to the existence that had so abruptly been altered. NOTES ON BLINDNESS plays these recordings while enacting them for us visually with poetic and touching delicacy. Here is the truly inspirational and fearless quest of a remarkable man to accept, understand, and make use of a shattering life event. –C.R.

Notes on Blindness is part of a multi-platform project that also includes the VR experience Notes on Blindness: Into Darkness, featured in the Perspectives exhibition.

CIFF40 Screenings

Wednesday, April 06, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Thursday, April 07, 2016 at 2:15 PM

Global Health Competition

Peter Middleton, James Spinney

From similar backgrounds in English literature and the visual arts, Peter Middleton and James Spinney have been working together for the past five years on a range of fiction and documentary projects. They have previously adapted the audio journals of John Hull into a series of award-winning shorts. They won an Emmy Award in 2014 for the short on which this film is based. This is their feature film debut.


Mike Brett, Jo-Jo Ellison, Steve Jamison, Peter Middleton, James Spinney, Alex Usborne

Peter Middleton, James Spinney

Gerry Floyd

Julian Quantrill

Principal Cast
Dan Skinner, Simone Kirby

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