Blinded by the Light (film)

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German title Blinded by the light
Original title Blinded by the light
Country of production United Kingdom
original language English
Publishing year 2019
length 118 minutes
Age rating FSK 12
Director Gurinder Chadha
script Paul Mayeda Berges ,
Gurinder Chadha,
Sarfraz Manzoor
production Jane Barclay ,
Gurinder Chadha,
Jamal Daniel
music AR Rahman
camera Ben Smithard
cut Justin Krish

Blinded by the Light is a tragic comedy directed by Gurinder Chadha that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 27, 2019 and was released in theaters in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2019. The film was released in German cinemas on August 22, 2019.


1987 in England ruled by Margaret Thatcher. Javed, a 16-year-old British boy of Pakistani descent, lives in the city of Luton. His father Malik recently lost his job. The skinheads in the neighborhood also remind him every day of the difficult times in which he lives. What young Javed really wants is to be a writer, but his father doesn't approve of it.

At the beginning of the new college year, his new friend, the turban Sikh Roops, introduces him to Bruce Springsteen's music and gives him a cassette with his songs. His hymns for the working class encourage him to find his own voice as a writer. While Javed has found a friend in Roops who knows exactly what he has been missing so far, he finds a girl in Eliza with whom he can share his dreams. The three friends dance together in the streets to Springsteen's music, and many passers-by just join in.


Original, staff and film title

Directed by Gurinder Chadha , here at a screening of the film at the Montclair Film Festival in May 2019

The film is based on the 2007 memoir Greetings from Bury Park by journalist and writer Sarfraz Manzoor . Directed by Gurinder Chadha , who also wrote the script with Manzoor and her husband Paul Mayeda-Burges . The film title refers to the song Blinded by the Light by Bruce Springsteen from 1973. To underline particularly important lyrics by Springsteen, these are shown in writing on the screen as they literally revolve around the thoughts of the protagonist.

Cast and filming

Young actor Viveik Kalra made his film debut in the role of Javed. Kulvinder Ghir plays his father Malik. Nell Williams and Aaron Phagura took on the roles of his friends Eliza and Roops. His teacher, Mrs. Clay, is played by Hayley Atwell .

The German dubbing was based on a dialog script and directed by Ursula von Langen on behalf of FFS Film- & Fernseh-Synchron GmbH, Munich. Tobias John von Freyend lends his voice to Javed in the German version, while Rajvinder Singh lends his voice to his father Malik. Javed's friends Eliza and Roops are dubbed Alina Freund and Xiduo Zhao .

Filming took place in various locations in and around Luton. Ben Smithard acted as cameraman .

Film music and soundtrack

The film music was composed by AR Rahman . The soundtrack, released by Columbia / Sony Music on August 9, 2019, consists of Springsteen classics written and recorded between 1975 and 1984, including Dancing in the Dark , Badlands , Hungry Heart and Born to Run , supplemented by Live versions of Thunder Road and The River from the 1970s. In addition, the soundtrack It's a Sin by the Pet Shop Boys and The Sun Always Shines on TV by A-ha , but also includes disco songs from the Middle East such as Maar Chadapa by Heera and the new wave protest song Get Out of My Way Fascist ( Pigs) by Amer Chadha-Patel . The film critic Antje Wessels thinks that Springsteen's music fulfills its purpose to perfection, and Chadha manages to accommodate all these evergreens in her film with ease, so that the enthusiasm for Javed's “boss” is transmitted directly to the audience.


The film was premiered on January 27, 2019 at the Sundance Film Festival . In June 2019 it was shown at the Sydney Film Festival , where New Line secured the rights to the film. In July 2019 it was shown in the Galway Film Fleadh. In late July and early August 2019 it was shown at the Jerusalem Film Festival . It was released in cinemas in the United Kingdom on August 9, 2019. A theatrical release in the USA took place on August 16, 2019, in Germany on August 22, 2019, in Austria on August 23, 2019.



In the US, the film was rated PG-13 by the MPAA . In Germany it was approved by the FSK from the age of 12.

So far, 89 percent of all Rotten Tomatoes critics have given the film a rather positive rating, averaging 7.3 out of a possible 10 points. The film also came third in the 21st Annual Golden Tomato Awards in the Best-Reviewed Musicals & Music Movies category .

Owen Gleiberman of Variety stated in Blinded by the Light if it were not only a serious coming-of-age story, but also a passionate ode to the threat posed by pop vitality.

The film critic Antje Wessels describes the scene on the market as a highlight of the film. Like the film as a whole, it is very reminiscent of John Carney's film Sing Street . Gurinder Chadha filled the finale of her Feelgood film with a hard-hitting, maudlin monologue by her protagonist, and to top it all off, even the father became a budding Springsteen fan, which ultimately was too much of a good thing and Blinded by the Light was a lot retrospectively Make it seem cheesier and more forced than the film is in its best moments, when the makers simply want to celebrate Springsteen's timeless music.

The worldwide revenue of the film from theatrical screenings so far amounts to approximately 15.4 million US dollars.


London Critics' Circle Film Awards 2020

  • Nomination for Best British / Irish Young Actor (Dean-Charles Chapman, also for 1917 and The King )

Web links

Commons : Blinded by the Light  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Release certificate for Blinded by the Light . Voluntary self-regulation of the film industry (PDF; test number: 191982 / K). Template: FSK / maintenance / type not set and Par. 1 longer than 4 characters
  2. Age rating for Blinded by the Light . Youth Media Commission .
  3. Sarfraz Manzoor. In: The Guardian. Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  4. a b Peter Travers: 'Blinded by the Light': Bruce's Music Is a Gift for a British-Pakistani Teen. In: Rolling Stone, August 13, 2019.
  5. a b c Antje Wessels: Blinded by the Light. In: Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  6. AR Rahman to Reteam with Gurinder Chadha on 'Blinded by the Light'. In:, December 12, 2018.
  8. Blinded by the Light (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack). In: Retrieved August 18, 2019.
  9. Che-Marie Trigg: Sydney Film Festival Has Announced Its Full 2019 Program. In:, May 8, 2019.
  10. Chris Lee: The Complete List of Movies Sold at Sundance 2019. In: Vulture, February 2, 2019.
  11. ^ 31st Galway Film Fleadh program. (PDF; 14.6 MB)
  12. Blinded by the Light. In: Retrieved July 24, 2019.
  13. Start dates in Germany . In: Retrieved March 2, 2019.
  14. August 2019. In: Retrieved May 27, 2019.
  15. Blinded by the Light. In: Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 25, 2019. Note: The Tomatometer at Rotten Tomatoes shows what percentage of the registered critics gave the film a positive rating.
  16. Best Reviewed Musicals & Music Movies 2019. In: Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 10, 2020.
  19. Tom Grater: 'The Souvenir', 'The Irishman', '1917' Lead London Critics' Circle Film Award Nominees. In:, December 17, 2019.