Kodak hired my father straight out of college in 1976 to work in their film processing labs. One year prior, a Kodak employee had invented the first digital camera. In 2012 Kodak went bankrupt, and today operates at a fraction of its former scale. Over the course of my father’s 30+ year career with the company, he worked amongst blind people who were hired to handle film in the dark due to their heightened tactile sense.
Rich, the protagonist of this video, is a hybrid of my father and an imagined character who worked in film processing at Kodak until a workplace accident left him blind. He then started working in the dark, packaging film with other blind Kodak employees until they were laid off as the company lurched towards bankruptcy. When we catch up with Rich, he’s been unemployed for ten years and seems to be gradually losing his mental faculties. He spends his time in the Rochester public library, shuttling back and forth through copies of tape recordings that Kodak founder George Eastman made near the end of his life in 1930. The story is told through Rich’s point of view.