Flying Blind

Director: Vince Dipersio
Screenwriters: Vince Dipersio

Institute History


The year is 1965, an exciting era of political and social change. Eddie (Richard Panebianco) is a spirited eighteen-year-old who lives with his mother in an Italian, working-class neighborhood in Philadelphia. Fascinated by the world around him, Eddie constantly snaps pictures, and dreams of studying photograph. His best friend, Joey, is uncomfortable with Eddie’s seemingly radical ideas, but always stands by him. Eddie and Joey realize their days of hanging out on street corners are numbered when they both pass their physicals for the Vietnam draft. Eddie hopes to get a deferment by going to art college, but Joey feels it’s his duty to serve, and joins up.

With Joey off in Vietnam, Eddie begins to explore the intriguing underground world of 1960s Philadelphia, visiting dark, music-filled clubs and coffeehouses. In time, Eddie’s high-school girlfriend joins him, and they explore the counterculture together, with Eddie taking thoughtful photographs every step of the way. Eddie then becomes romantically involved with a beautiful and exotic young woman he meets, and his longtime girlfriend is devastated. Eddie sees the dark side of the bohemian life just as he’s about to be accepted to art school. Slowly Eddie begins to see how his new life-style has made him lose sight of his working-class roots and values. And on the day he is to begin art school, he finds himself wondering whether he really belongs there—or in Vietnam. Flying Blind was a project at the Sundance Institute’s 1986 June Filmmakers Laboratory.

Screening Details

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