the farmer's wife

Out of Sight


Diane Starin


Sutherland has created an unflinching and unconventional documentary portrait of Starin, one that refuses to condescend to its subject or its audience.

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"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.

The Two in BedDiane 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.

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