Many movies feature main characters who are blind or have a significant degree of vision loss. Below are some of the best movies that feature blind characters:
Movies & Documentaries That Feature Vision Loss
Whether you’re seeking encouragement or want to see things from a different perspective, the following films will keep you entertained and leave you feeling good:
Ice Castles – 1978 & 2010
This is a great movie to watch with teens. Ice Castles warms the heart and shows you that the noblest of dreams can be realized. The 2010 version was a relaunch of the original movie, which was released in 1978.
It tells the story of teen figure skater Alexis Winston, whose dream is to become a world-class skater. However, her dreams suddenly fade when she is involved in an accident and loses her sight. Because of her boyfriend’s love and encouragement, Alexis learns that she can meet her goal of becoming a champion.
You can find this movie on YouTube in both the 1978 version and 2010 update. Both movies can be rented for $3.99, or you can buy them on YouTube for $12.99.
Going Blind (A Documentary) – 2010
The tagline used for this 2010 docu movie is appropriate: “Coming out of the dark about vision loss.” This tells you precisely what the movie covers. The maker of the movie, Joseph F. Scott, takes the audience behind the scenes, explaining his own journey of glaucoma-associated vision loss.
He also recounts stories of six individuals from various backgrounds who are dealing with some level of blindness. The film presents a positive perspective — one that gives hope or portrays vision loss as a development that also offers a new beginning.
Check out this film on Vimeo where you can rent it for $4.99.
The White Countess – 2005
A romantic film, The White Countess is about a U.S. diplomat who loses his eyesight in a terrorist attack. The official, played by Ralph Fiennes, relocates to China thereafter and meets a countess, portrayed by Natasha Richardson, in 1930s Shanghai. The pair fall in love, and the official opens a nightclub dedicated to his lady love.
You can locate the video on YouTube. It rents for $3.99, and you can buy it for $12.99.
At First Sight – 1999
Van Kilmer plays the part of a congenitally blind man. His girlfriend, portrayed by Mira Sorvino, encourages him to get an operation so he can see again. However, after the procedure, he struggles with the new and foreign images he sees, wondering if getting the operation was a mistake.
You can view this film on Amazon. You can also purchase the DVD or Blu-ray if you like.
Daredevil – 2003
Ben Affleck takes the lead role in Daredevil, an action-packed movie that comes directly from the Marvel superhero franchise. Affleck’s character takes on the villains in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen as the superhero Daredevil. You can rent or buy the movie, which also features Jennifer Garner, on YouTube. You can also view the Netflix TV version.
Blindsight – 2006
This documentary describes the amazing journey of six Tibetan teens who climb a 23,000-foot peak, the Lhakpa Ri of Mt. Everest. Led by a renowned blind mountain climber, Erik Weihenmayer, they scale the precipitous incline, proving that societal views of their abilities are significantly underestimated. The tagline for this film is inspiring: “They lost their sight, not their vision.”
To view the film, visit Vimeo.
A Patch of Blue – 1965
This critically acclaimed drama follows the relationship between an African-American man, played by Sidney Poitier, and a blind teen, Elizabeth Hartman. Groundbreaking for its time, the film covers social stigma, prejudice, and abuse. You can buy or rent this landmark movie on YouTube.
Scent of a Woman – 1992
In this hit movie, Al Pacino, who won an Oscar for this role, plays a cantankerous U.S. Army veteran, Lt. Colonel Frank Slade, who lost his sight during battle. He convinces his naive prep school caretaker, Charlie Simms (portrayed by Chris O’Donnell) to go with him to New York City for what he believes will be the best and last great weekend of his life.
You can view this film on YouTube.
Why These Movies Matter
Media, particularly movies, plays a large role in helping to normalize people with disabilities, including people with vision loss and blindness. When blind characters are portrayed as real people, with struggles and joy like everyone else, rather than only as their disability, it helps to promote inclusion.
Disability Movies Aren’t What They Used to Be — That’s Good! (February 2020). Forbes.
The Impact of the Popular Media on Public Perception of People With Disabilities. (October 2012). American Foundation for the Blind.
The Representation of Blindness in Media. (September 2013). University of West London.
Last Updated March 15, 2023
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