The Blind Man Who Shouted Light

Ahost of blatant symbols (blind man equals visionary) and hoopla about storytelling as a lost art can't cover up the lack of script, cast and direction in "The Blind Man Who Shouted Light," a rambling Brazilian pic infatuated with its own words and images. Whatever its prospects may be at home, offshore it looks like a crashing dud. A teary old drunk turns up at a cheap cafe in the woods every night, exchanging stories for drinks. He frustrates a hotheaded biker and his sentimental moll by refusing to tell the end of one particular story, about two shantytown girls murdered beside a lake many years ago.

With:
With: Tonico Pereira, Roberto Bontempo, Carmen Morentzsohn, Luciano Porto, Murilo Grossi.

Meanwhile, the newspapers are full of headlines about a blind boy able to walk on the edge of bridges. After a series of repetitive scenes, the truth comes out: The old drunk was there at the lake, the blind boy touched the murderer and memorized his face, and the girls (in a joyful nude flashback) were killed by members of the rich and idle class.

Directing his first film in almost 10 years, Joao Batista de Andrade displays the delicacy of a sledgehammer in putting over his would-be revolutionary message, with a bit of ecology thrown in. Unfortunately, the camerawork fails to convey anything paradisiacal about the scruffy mudhole about to become — horrors! — a lakeside housing development. The outdoor cafe just looks like a really cheap location, and the whole cast is undistinguished.

The Blind Man Who Shouted Light

Brazilian

Production: A Solutions Producao & Comunicacao/Riofilme/Raiz Producoes Cinematograficas production. (International sales: Grupo Novo de Cinema & TV, Rio de Janeiro.) Produced by Assuncao Hernandez. Directed, written by Joao Batista de Andrade

Crew: Camera (color), Jorge Monclar; editor, Cristina Amaral; music, Fernando Andrade; art direction, Vinicius Andrade; costume design, Eurico Rocha; sound, Juarez Dagoberto. Reviewed at Berlin Film Festival (Forum), Feb. 20, 1997. Running time: 70 MIN.

With: With: Tonico Pereira, Roberto Bontempo, Carmen Morentzsohn, Luciano Porto, Murilo Grossi.

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