Janela da alma is a documentary about the sense of vision and the act of seeing in a predominantly visual world. Through interviews with 19 people who suffer from different kinds of visual impairment (short-sightedness, squint, partial and total blindness, etc.), it discusses the significance of vision in our contemporary society. It covers issues such as the physiology of vision, the impact of wearing glasses on people’s personalities and body image, the meaning of seeing and not being able to see, the paradox of not being able to see the inner dimensions of human beings and the loss of the capacity to see in a world saturated by images. As Nobel Prize winner José Saramago states: ‘We live in an amusement park where images multiply. We feel lost; first of all, lost to ourselves; then, lost in relation to the world. […] We are wandering without knowing what we are, what we are for…’
Interviewees range from other celebrities such as Hermeto Paschoal, Wim Wenders, the blind Czech photographer Evgen Bavcar and Oliver Sacks, to poets such as Antônio Cícero and Manoel de Barros, to the literature teacher Paulo César Lopes, to the artist Carmela Gross, to the actress Marieta Severo, to the writer João Ubaldo, to the filmmaker Walter Lima Jr., to the councilman Arnaldo Godoy, etc. Beautiful and non-conventional images of empty deserts, burning trees and blurred streetlights at night link the various fragments of interview. There are black-and-white sequences with quiet background music.
Walter Carvalho was born in Paraíba, Brazil, in 1948. He arrived in Rio de Janeiro in 1968 and studied graphic design. Walter Carvalho has, since the eighties, become the most important cinematographer in Brazilian cinema. His involvement with cinema started when he accompanied his brother Vladimir in the shooting of works like O País de São Saruê (1971). After that, he was the assistant director of cinematography to Dib Lufti, José Medeiros and Fernando Duarte, and made his debut as a photographer in 1973 with Boi de Prata (1973), by Augusto Ribeiro Jr. Since then, Walter has won several prizes, in festivals like Cartagena, Huelva and Brasilia, for his cinematography. The recognition of his works came with Central do Brasil (1998), by Walter Salles, followed by Madame Satã (2002), by Karim Aïnouz, in which he makes unforgettable images that unite bodies and emotions with movements of brightness. —fipresci
Rather interesting, but it lacks something. A non-real character that could be in "Janela da Alma" and whom I got fascinated by is Julie Delpy´s character in "Two Days in Paris", a photographer that has "small holes on the retina which condemn her to see only one part of the image". The way she shows us her vision problem is fantastic and you can, somehow, feel yourself into it.