"I think people are ready for a story about a blind woman who's raising
a family, having a career, or both. What I wonder is if they're ready
tor a blind woman who's in her thirties living with a man who's in his
sixties, in a relationship that deals with alcohol and infidelity.
In other words, I don't know if America is ready for a blind girl who
isn't a goody two-shoes."
-Diane Starin describing herself at the beginning of David Sutherland's Out of Sight.
Diane Starin, the thirty-four-year-old blind woman who is the star of
the David Sutherland documentary, Out of Sight, is no goody two-shoes.
But she is a strong, independent, and complex woman who breaks horses,
hearts, and stereotypes. Her story is a complicated one-part western
romance, part soap opera, and part the tale of a thoroughly modern
single woman struggling to win financial independence.
Sutherland has created an unflinching and unconventional documentary
portrait of Starin, one that refuses to condescend to its subject or its
audience. Shot in northern California, where Diane lives, the 85- minute
film is an intimate film that captures not only
Diane and her trials and dreams, but also features a rich cast of
real-life supporting characters that most feature film writers only
dream of creating.
"I wouldn't know how to describe this film," says Sutherland. "If
anything, I'd say it's a soap-umentary."
Sutherland was drawn to Starin's
story because he wanted to do a film about a blind person that would be
realistic but would also shatter stereotypes about the handicapped.
"When you see a film about a blind person, you usually see them caning
chairs or in sheltered workshops, or you see them as super men and
women," he says. "Here you see a blind person...as a real
person." At the same time, however, the film is more than the story of
Diane; in some ways, in fact, she becomes just another character in what
is a compelling human drama of love and betrayal.
With Out of Sight, Sutherland has painted a portrait that is both
individual and universal. He has illuminated the complicated world of a
most unusual woman, a world at once unique and yet familiar to any woman
or man who has ever loved, lost, cheated or rolled the dice of life.
For more information on Out of Sight, visit the POV web site. There you will find an interview
with Diane Starin, information on how to obtain a copy of Out of Sight and transcripts.