Identity & Purpose

“The Blind” Movie Review: You’ve Heard the Story…But Not Like This

Doug Bender

September 28, 2023 | 3 minute read

I’d tell you there are spoilers here for the movie “The Blind: The True Story of the Robertson Family,” but you probably already know something about their unique story. Many of us watched 11 seasons of their lives on the hit reality television show, “Duck Dynasty.” They have written books, made podcasts, done countless interviews and more to tell you how Jesus saved their family. But no matter how often you’ve heard their story, trust me when I say that you have not heard it told like this. 

Beauty in the Swamps

Perhaps this stems from my days as a part-time photographer or my love of art, but I always value beautiful cinematography. The filmmakers behind "The Blind" have certainly achieved this beauty with their breathtaking capture of the Louisiana swamplands. So much so that you may want to add southern Louisiana on your next trip across the country.

Not only does it capture the backdrop of this heartwarming story, this movie also successfully transports viewers 50 years into the past to the 1960s. The sets and wardrobes are subtle but effective. It reels us into the early days before they were known as “The Robertsons.”

A Feel Good Movie Without the Cheese

I don’t mind a cheesy movie. In fact, many days it’s exactly what I want. But there is an art in telling a heartwarming story that doesn’t come across as flat and obvious. Even though I knew this story, the storytelling in “The Blind” still created doubt and wonder about how this struggling family would make it through all the challenges they faced. Despite my love of cheese (in all its wonderful forms), the honesty of this story created something more beautiful and compelling than I expected.  

Authenticity is perhaps this movie’s highest achievement. There are no attempts at hiding the depravity of this family’s past. The family patriarch, Phil Robertson, in particular, has his faults, sins and addictions on full display. The darkness of some of these scenes is unusually honest and revealing for a movie in this genre. It’s generally clean in the sense that there is almost no swearing, certainly no sex and violence is kept to a minimum. But enough is shown that you know what was really happening emotionally. This isn’t just a story about a man who “went through some hard times”; this is the story of a man who completely lost his way. But it’s precisely this honesty that makes this story so gripping and real.

Religion That’s Lived Not Explained

Some movies with a religious undercurrent can come across as preachy. There can be actual sermons and church services inserted into a film. But this movie is able to show you the power of faith without a sermon. There’s a preacher in the story, but his only sermon is how he lives his life. Phil and Miss Kay have deeply religious experiences throughout this story, but none come across as a religious agenda. In other words, the story came first. The filmmakers didn’t decide to give a sermon wrapped in a story. They decided to tell a great story that just so happened to contain people who had profound religious experiences. 

As a believer, I deeply appreciate this. I love a sermon. I’ve even given a few myself. But I don’t go to the movies to get a sermon. I expect to see a great story when I walk into the theatre. As someone who loves Jesus, I want people to know about my faith and the Jesus that I follow. But I don’t think it will be great sermons that will move most people. I think it will be compelling stories like “The Blind.”

Why This Story Is Important

Like myself and many others, you may already be familiar with the Robertson family story. But you really haven’t seen it like this. I tell you this as someone whose team at I Am Second helped capture a version of this story on film. I tell you this as an author who already wrote this story in a book

I knew this story, too.

But this movie is something else. 

It’s going to change lives. It might just be your life that changes. If nothing else, it’ll teach you what the Bible means when it says, “The blind will see…”

(And be sure and stick around for the credits for something special.)


Doug Bender

Doug Bender

Doug Bender is an I Am Second writer and small groups coach. He developed many of the small group tools found at and has coached churches, organizations, and individuals to use I Am Second groups to share the message of Jesus with their friends and family. He also works with I Am Second's parent organization, e3 Partners, as a church planter and pastor in countries such as Ethiopia, Colombia, and the US. Doug and his wife, Catherine, have four children: Bethany, Samuel, Isabella, and Jesse.

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