Tuesday, September 26th, 2017
Licht tells the story of the blind virtuoso pianist Maria Theresia Paradis, who in 18th-century Vienna was sent by her parents to be treated by a miracle doctor, Franz Anton Mesmer, as their last hope for a cure. Although her sight began to return, she began to lose her musical virtuosity, and she became aware that being part of society as someone who could see was too high a price to pay for the loss of her inner world of music. Director Barbara Albert said she became interested in the character after reading Alissa Walser’s book on the same subject, “Mesmerized”, and she was determined to bring the story of this extraordinary woman to light as she was not very well-known, even in Vienna. She also said that she would have preferred to work with a genuinely blind person but obviously the blind can’t act like a seeing person. Actress Maria Dregus confessed that she was nervous about taking on the role but spent a long time preparing for the film by studying blind women and this gave her a certain idea of what it was like to be blind.