A Film By Lisa Olivieri
Blindsided is an hour-long documentary narrative of Patricia Livingstone, a deaf-blind lesbian artist facing a series of unimaginable losses and historic gains. The film weaves intimate, real time scenes, shot over the course of eight years, with home videos and photographs, to relay the story of a woman whose spark did not fade even in the face of great hardship and loss.
Patricia was thirteen years old when she was officially diagnosed with Usher’s Syndrome, a rare condition that ultimately leads to blindness and deafness. As she lost her sight and hearing, Patricia was slowly shuffled to the outskirts of society. Battling solitude and institutionalization, Patricia emerged from her teenage years fiercely motivated to change her life. She took up music, film, and painting. She also embraced her sexuality as a lesbian.
Emboldened, Patricia fell in love with Karen and began a long term, live-in relationship. But only eight months into their courtship, the domestic abuse began. Again, Patricia’s world closed in on itself. Isolated to her house, Patricia’s senses deteriorated. But she refused to surrender. When Patricia could barely see, she taught herself Braille. When she could barely hear, she learned to fingerspell.
Eventually, after 42 years of quiet struggle, medical innovation came to her rescue; the insertion of a cochlear implant dramatically restored her hearing, and Patricia’s whole life changed. She picked herself up, recovered her independence, and found the chance for new love. She soon became part of one of the first legally married lesbian couples in the United States.
THE FILMMAKER: Lisa Olivieri has been working in the television industry in numerous roles including Associate Producer for over 15 years. She has worked with a number of independent filmmakers on various documentaries. Her work has aired on Discovery Channel, History Channel, Lifetime Network and PBS. She was named one of the “Men and Women Who Make A Difference,” by Boston Spirit Magazine, for her work on BLINDSIDED.