A feature-length documentary that chronicles the creative paths of blind and visually impaired artists including a photographer (John Dugdale), dancer (Kayla Hamilton), writer (Ryan Knighton) and the film’s director, Rodney Evans. A tantalizing meditation on blindness and creativity opening minds to new possibilities for facing vision loss.
“Evans has made a touchingly honest ode to the inner life of all artists.”
Vision Portraits is a deeply personal documentary by award-winning filmmaker Rodney Evans (Brother to Brother) as he explores how his loss of vision may impact his creative future, and what it means to be a blind or visually impaired creative artist. It’s a celebration of the possibilities of art created by a Manhattan photographer (John Dugdale), a Bronx-based dancer (Kayla Hamilton), a Canadian writer (Ryan Knighton) and the filmmaker himself, who each experience varying degrees of vision loss. Using archival material alongside new illuminating interviews and observational footage of the artists at work, Evans has created a tantalizing meditation on blindness and creativity, a sensual work that opens our minds to new possibilities.
“A moving meditation about our unwavering need for creativity and finding ways to express it ...There is not a whiff of self-pity or self-indulgence here just a desire to tell a story from a viewpoint that rarely reaches the screen.”
“Quietly wondrous to behold.”
“has the power, however briefly, to alter your perception.”
"Vision Portraits—an omnibus documentary about several artists who have lost their sense of sight and work in partial or full blindness—will touch vast, diverse audiences interested in the creative process, disability, healthcare, and alternate modes of sensory knowledge. The section about photographer John Dugdale, who became blind due to complications from the AIDS virus, connects these issues to LGBTQI+ communities. Evans' brilliant and highly personal film reveals something crucial about perception: that what we call "vision" is far more complex and heterogeneous than is commonly thought."
Director Rodney Evans interviewed by Terry Gross on NPR’s Fresh Air about Vision Portraits.
“Endlessly thought-provoking...consistently fascinates the mind and activates the senses.”
“The film’s inspiring and evocative power should resonate with viewers across the cinematic spectrum.”
“Extraordinarily moving... a truly transcendent, out-of-body experience that is quite affecting.”
“This is an inspiring film, a funny and informative feature whose subjects were creative kindred spirits I’d never seen onscreen before.”
“This is not a movie about loss and despair, but the celebration of what is possible.”