What if you lost your sight tomorrow?
That’s the difficult subject matter of Shadow Girl, a documentary following Toronto-based filmmaker Maria Teresa Larrain as she chronicles the loss of her sight due to AMD (Macular Degeneration). The ramifications of this are clear: “The hardest thing in this film has not been shooting with very low vision,” says Larrain, “but to find my point of view as a director – my blind gaze.”
After a period of lonely depression, Larrain – who began to lose her sight while editing her last film in Toronto – was compelled to rejoin society with the death of her mother in her native Chile. She returned to Santiago after thirty years away and discovered a society of blind street vendors of La Alameda. The encounter with a spirited, kindred community – one that had to overcome not just blindness, but also theft and police harassment – launched Larrain further on her personal journey.
Her road is full of challenges, including palliative eye surgery that is graphically filmed. The result is a visual elegy for lost sight, the commitment to persevere, and a memorable depiction of the world beyond our eyes.
On Sunday, March 12 @4 p.m. there will be a special screening of Shadow Girl at the Revue Cinema (400 Roncesvalles) followed by a Q&A with Maria Teresa Larrain. Find more info here.