Sheffield DocFest: The Story of Looking

BBFC RatingSheffield DocFest: The Story of Looking

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CertificateNot Rated
DirectorMark Cousins
Running Time1HR 30MINS
SeasonDocFest Live From Sheffield

The Story of Looking sees director Mark Cousins explore the role that visual experience plays in our individual and collective lives as he prepares for surgery to restore his vision.

In a deeply personal meditation on the power of looking in his own life, he guides us through the riches of the visible world, a kaleidoscope of extraordinary imagery across cultures and eras. At a time when we are more assailed by images than ever, he reveals how looking makes us who we are, lying at the heart of human experience, empathy, discovery and thought. He shares the pleasure and pain of seeing the world, in all its complexity and contradiction, with eyes wide open.

As the COVID-19 pandemic brings another dramatic shift of perspective, he reaches out to other lookers for their vision from lockdown, and travels to the future to consider how his looking life will continue to develop until the very end.

From Inverness to Brighton, Belfast to Cardiff, audiences from across the UK will be able to enjoy a number of titles from Sheffield DocFest's Official 2021 Selection simultaneously with audiences in Sheffield. Queen's Film Theatre will screen five films from the festival as part of Live From Sheffield.

We're delighted to swing open the cinema door once more. You might like to read more about the measures we're taking to reduce the risk from COVID-19, including our allocated seating. Find out more here. If you have any questions, we've got a new range of FAQs here, and you can email us on