Julianne Moore’s new movie Blindness is set to be boycotted by protesters who claim it “portrays blind people as monsters”.

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The film, based on the 1995 novel by Nobel Prize winner Jose Saramago, tells the story of an epidemic which causes people to become blind to everything except a fuzzy white light, eventually resulting in the collapse of a city.

However, after watching the film in a preview screening earlier this week, the National Federation of the Blind – based in Baltimore, America – have vowed to protest against the film in 75 movie theatres in over 21 US states when it is released tomorrow (03.10.08).

Marc Maurer, the president of the federation, explained: “The movie portrays blind people as monsters, and I believe it to be a lie. Blindness doesn’t turn decent people into monsters.”

Protesters will hand out fliers and carry signs bearing slogans including: “I’m not an actor. But I play a blind person in real life.”

Miramax, who are releasing the movie, have denied the claims, insisting director Fernando Meirelles had “worked diligently to preserve the intent and resonance of the acclaimed book which is a courageous parable about the triumph of the human spirit when civilisation breaks down”.

Julianne plays the wife of an optician, portrayed by Mark Ruffalo, who feigns blindness when her husband loses his sight in a bid to stay with him.

Her character, referred to as Doctor’s Wife, then leads a revolt of the patients who have been quarantined from the epidemic.