directed by: John Furse
starring: Ian Hart; Linus Roache
Bruce says: "BLIND FIGHT is based on a true story about an Irish teacher, Brian Keenan, and a British journalist, John McCarthy, who were captured by Lebanese terrorists. They lived together in various cells and makeshift prisons for four and a half years. During that time they developed an intense bond with one another, not surprising since there was no one else to communicate with culturally or linguistically. The evolution of their relationship and development of their coping skills are mostly dialogue driven. For that reason BLIND FIGHT would have been a better vehicle for the stage.
"One wishes that director John Furse had better thought through the prison scenes. When dramatic content consists of food rationing, mental abuse, torture, hand to hand combat and verbal sparing it is difficult to maintain a high level viewer interest. While each of these topics has its own place in the film’s narrative, each incident comes across as more of the same. Had the prison years been interspersed with flashforwards and/or flashbacks, some of the monotony might have been broken.
"Visually the film suffers the same malady. The film begins with an impassioned Margaret Thatcher speech about never giving in to terrorists which was delivered back in the days when terrorism was more of a novelty than an everyday occurrence. Some of the early scenes are beautiful but soon the visual variety is reduced to the difference in tile patterns from one cell to another and the degree of war damage to the prison walls. This is one film where the close-up never wears out its welcome.
"Ian Hart (Keenan) and Linus Roache (McCarthy) are magnificent as the two prisoners. Ian Hart was wonderful as John Lennon in BACKBEAT and his performance as a self involved, negligent dad in Michael Winterbottom’s WONDERLAND was marvelously odious. He also has appeared in personal favourites, THE END OF THE AFFAIR and THE BUTCHER BOY. Linus Roache’s memorable performance in PRIEST and his admirable follow-up in THE WINGS OF THE DOVE have made his professional hiatus difficult to comprehend. It is good to see him back in action.
"BLIND FIGHT has some very moving moments. I really wanted to like it more. 3.5 cats
This film was shown at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival