Paris, je t’aime: Running with Dignity — and Skill

After raising the question — “how fast can a blind flaneur run and preserve a scrap of dignity?” — I thought of the Faubourg Saint-Denis vignette in Paris, je t’aime. In it a young blind man (Melchior Beslon) swings a long white cane with authority as he races through narrow cobblestone streets of the Xe to guide an aspiring American actress (Natalie Portman) to a timely audition. No cheesy clichés here. It’s a rare movie representation of a blind person’s surety and skill as he moves through the world. The cane is a tool, not a stigmatizing symbol. I was thrilled by that scene. I want to know my Paris faubourg in just that way. That’s a life-map worth making.

The vignette’s ending, which depends on a pun about “seeing you” — might be cheesy. I continue to ponder that one but won’t analyze it here and spoil the plot. See it for yourself.

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