Vénus aveugle (Blind Venus) is a 1941 French film melodrama, directed by Abel Gance, and one of the first films to be undertaken in France during the German occupation. In the upheaval following the German invasion of France, in the summer of 1940, Abel Gance went to the Free Zone in the south and arranged a contract to make a film at the Victorine studios in Nice. The original title was to be Messaline, drame des temps modernes ("Messalina, a drama of modern times"), but it was later changed to Vénus aveugle. Although the film is not set in any specified period, Gance wanted it to be seen as relevant to the contemporary situation in France.
The beautiful Clarisse learns that she is going blind, and in order to prevent her lover Madére, a boatman, from sacrificing himself for her, she decides to break with him, pretending she no longer loves him. Madère angrily leaves, and Clarisse takes a job as a singer in a harbour bar to support herself and her crippled sister Mireille. When she discovers that she is pregnant, she wants to confess everything to Madère, but he has left on a year-long voyage with a new lover Giselle. Clarisse gives birth to a daughter Violette, and when Madère and Giselle return she learns that they are married and also have a baby daughter. Clarisse's child dies, and she herself becomes completely blind; embittered against men, she withdraws into herself. Mireille tells the truth to Madère, who has separated from Giselle, and he undertakes an elaborate deception to take care of Clarisse, posing as the owner of a yacht on which he wants to take her on a cruise. The yacht is in fact the broken-down boat which used to be their shared home, but all their friends conspire to create the illusion that Clarisse is on a sea voyage. Madère restores the boat in preparation for a real voyage, and just when it is ready, Clarisse tells him she has recognized him and the boat. She accepts his love for her, and simultaneously regains her sight.
DVD-R IS IN FRENCH WITH SWITCHABLE ENGLISH AND SPANISH SUBTITLES. Approx. 145 mins. See sample for film quality!