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Year: 2005
UK: ICA Projects
Cast: Hugues de Montalembert
Director: Gary Tarn
Country: UK
UK: 75 mins
UK Release Date: 5 May 2006 (Limited Release - London, ICA)
UK Distributor


On a late spring evening in New York, 1978, French painter and documentary film-maker , 36, crossed Washington Square on his way home from a Greenwich Village coffee house. Arriving at the door to his apartment, he fell victim to a random attack. As he fought for his life, paint remover was thrown in his eyes - causing him to be permanently blinded.

Gradually, de Montalembert learned to come to terms with his loss of sight, and discovered a rare ability to create an internal visual world. After a period of rehabilitation, and confronted with the long-term consequences of this random stroke of fate, he eventually started to travel again - alone - documenting his travels in a series of books. After several months spent writing in Indonesia, de Montalembert had over eight hundred pages of notes. The collection was sent as a manuscript back to Paris, where it was immediately published and became a national best-seller and later, an international success.

Combining de Montalembert's audio narrative with stunning visuals, Gary Tarn's first feature film, Black Sun, articulates the immediate and longer-term consequences of the attack, as de Montalembert reflects on his perceptions of the world. An exploration of loss, perception, memory and faith, Black Sun is a poetic cinematic meditation on an extraordinary life without vision and the relativity of the senses.

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