Notes on Blindness – Jan. 26


On Thursday, January 26th, at 7pm at the Emerson Center, The Bozeman Doc Series and the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival present the Montana premiere of the award-winning new documentary, Notes on Blindness. The screening will be preceded by a reception in the lobby beginning at 6:15pm featuring food and drink from the Emerson Grill, and an opportunity to experience a virtual reality piece designed to accompany the film.

In 1983, after decades of steady deterioration, writer and academic John Hull became totally blind. To help him make sense of the upheaval in his life, he began keeping a diary on audiocassette. Over three years he recorded over sixteen hours of material, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness.

Notes on Blindness takes a creative approach to the documentary form. Actors lip-synch to the voices of the family, embedding John’s original audio recordings within vivid cinematography and textured sound design. The result is a poetic and intimate story of loss, rebirth and transformation, documenting John’s extraordinary journey into “a world beyond sight.”

Since world-premiering at the 2016 Sundance Film Festival to widespread critical acclaim, the film has gone on to screen at over 30 international film festivals winning several major awards, and has been nominated for six British Independent Film Awards, including Best British Film, Best Documentary and Best Director.

“Five stars…inspiring…utterly immersive…brilliantly blurs the boundary between drama and documentary…lends boldly adventurous cinematic form to the heightened experiences of an articulate, eloquent, and soul-searchingly honest subject.” The Guardian

“Magnificent…Adapted from Professor Hull’s memoir, “On Sight and Insight: A Journey Into the World of Blindness,” the film, using mostly his words, describes with extraordinary eloquence, precision and poetic sensitivity his physical and psychological metamorphosis as he felt the world retreat until it seemed mostly out of reach.” The New York Times

“Elegant, evocative and deeply affecting…A combination of fascinating subject matter and expressive, almost immersive execution. High quality, thought-provoking…” Screendaily

“Daring…deeply moving and enlightening…an immersive rendering of Hull’s experience…Filmed with a brilliant fluidity and tactile sensitivity…Dan Skinner, as John, and Simone Kirby, as Marilyn, share a luminous chemistry that is authentic down to their tiniest movement, glance or gesture.” Film Journal

The reception will begin in the lobby at 6:15 pm, and the film begins at 7pm. Tickets are available at the door or before the show at Cactus Records and Movie Lovers. Tickets are also available online at, where you can also buy Season Passes and 7-film punch cards, learn more about the series, and view trailers for upcoming films. The series will continue every other Thursday through April.