If you are looking for a documentary that dwells on self-pity and the tragedy of losing one’s vision, then Going Blind (2010) is not the film for you. Director Joseph Lovett brilliantly explored how those with vision impairments do not just simply sit back and become overwhelmed by the bustling world around them. Instead, they tackle it head on. The only things required are incredible patience and an indomitable will to continue living. The inspiration for this film came from Lovett’s personal journey with vision loss, as his has slowly been deteriorating due to glaucoma. This film is not just a way to share the lives of those who have experience vision loss, but it is also Lovett’s way of coming to terms with his situation as each individual he meets and converses with alters his pessimistic outlook. Rather than being eternally depressed about his failing vision, he learns to enjoy what he has and as one of the main characters remarks, “You have to work with what you have.”
Watching the film, I felt a sense of chaos and fear of trying to imagine how I would maneuver myself and lead a regular life if I were to lose my vision. I think this stemmed from the fact that a lot of the filming was done in New York City and my mind initially registered this island as the worst place to be blind. However, since the city is built on a grid it seems almost easier, rather than trying to work your way around a more spread out metropolis such as Los Angeles. In the end, you don’t feel a sense of despair that you initially start out with because we are following Lovett on his journey and our minds change along with his. The message is clear; take care of your eyes. Seeing as most eye conditions are prevented by just sporting a pair of sunglasses you can see why many eye doctors might find your complaints rather redundant when it was your fault for not protecting yourself. However, if you do lose your vision, the overall message of this film is to just adapt and adjust. If the spirit and courage of the young man who lost his vision in an explosion while fighting in Iraq does not inspire you to drop all your petty complaints, then I do not know what will!