10380 - The Final Break: "Blindness" and the Decomposition of the Social Paradigm

Being a Brazilian filmmaker, it may be surprising that Fernando Meirelles’s adaptation of Ensaio sobre a Cegueira (José Saramago, 1995), Blindness (2008), be an English and Japanese-speaking film instead of Portuguese like some of his previous works . The film transcends national boundaries with a heterogeneous mixture of production companies, cast and crew, filming locations, and languages, uprooting any Brazilian or Portuguese undertone. Although the apparent reason for this transnational impulse may be economic, the story plot profits from this lack of national imprint in order to create its own transnational scenario. In this paper I intend to analyze how the film builds, by means of the metaphorical spread of an epidemic, an allegory about our contemporary state of global crisis. The epidemic highlights the fragility of the welfare state in a highly globalized world. Meirelles provides a hyperbolic representation of what Alain Touraine has coined as “The Break”, the decomposition of the social paradigm, which “has created a chaos into which have rushed violence and war” (2007: 16). Thus, the film can be ultimately read as a harsh criticism against neoliberal capitalist practices and a warning against the blinding attitudes that globalization promotes.

Palavras-chaves: Globalization, Transnational Cinema, Epidemics, Dystopia

Autores: Echeverría, Julia (Universidad de Zaragoza, Spain / Spanien)


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