Interview with Juraj Lehotský, the director of the documentary Blind Loves, about the hidden impulses of love and the revealing of the new worlds.
For many, the world of the blind represents a space filled with darkness and emptiness. However, as is clear from the five films offered for free at DAFilms.com in the week from October 14 to 20, marking the international White Cane Day, their world, too, is brimming with flavours, sounds and physical sensations. These transform the familiar surroundings into brand new and fascinating forms, within which powerful family, friendly and romantic emotions crystallize. Complicated, tender, exhausting, devoted, dependent – what is the nature of love for those who will never see their beloved ones?
The award-winning documentary by the Slovak director Juraj Lehotský called Blind Loves recounts four moving stories in which we discover the various forms that love to music, first love, forbidden love and motherly love can take on. On the occasion of the White Cane Day on Tuesday, October 15, Juraj Lehotský talked to DAFilms.com about what Blind Loves means to him and what were the original motivations of the creative team as well as its protagonists.
Blind Loves is a distant past, plus you have now had a premiere of your film Miracle. What is the first memory that comes to your mind when you hear Blind Loves?
It was a process of discovering an unknown world and a different way of living. For me, it was a very remarkable period. I met interesting people whose life stories inspired us to write the film script. We enjoyed it a lot and were happy with our work.
Why did you decide to make a film about blind people, their relationships and their world? Do you think they themselves see it is important?
My initial inspiration arose from the question how a blind girl feels the first sparks of love, and I was contemplating the hidden impulses of love. Later, the film’s view expanded to encompass a broader perspective and we discussed various forms of love between blind people. I guess that for all of us who can see, the film provides a new insight into an unknown world.
Where did you look for the main protagonists of your film? Did you experience any rejection when addressing them?
I have travelled the whole Slovakia and tried to find interesting people. From one hundred people we finally chose four unrelated stories. What we saw as an important criterion was a deeper experience of the protagonists that would endow their story with some meaning or idea.
What was the key to selecting the stories presented in the film, which are, to some extent, archetypal – a blind music teacher or a Roma youth in love with a white girl?
Our aim was to embrace life as it is. To show how people first fall in love, how they experience it and fight for it, parents’ love to a child, or love at an older age. We wanted to show the most important stages of a human life that we all are going through.
What do you think were the primary motivations of the protagonists? What was their feedback regarding the result?
The film’s protagonists were happy to start shooting with us and they were trustful. We were recording their life over the span of 5 years and each story evolved in a different way. With some of them, we did not have any idea how the story would end. And I guess that their feelings after seeing the film were associated with a certain level of satisfaction and I think they liked it. They saw it in its audio version with Milka Vášaryová’s voiceover.
Why did you opt for the documentary drama form? What, as opposed to classic documentary film, was its contribution in exploring the life of blind persons? Was an ethical issue concerned in this case?
I wanted the film to come close to drama. And my desire was to tell a story through images and action. I wished to avoid documentary confessions and “talking heads”. With the scriptwriter Marek Leščák, we made a story using the protagonists’ appearances in the film. I found it to be an interesting option and form. It is still a documentary film, so their lives and stories are based on true experience, their own experience that is real, only they are told through images and as a story.
Thank you for your time and wish you the best with your new film Miracle!
Watch the five films offered for free at DAFilms.com in the week from October 14 to 20 for free.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.