WCD Times: Blinded by the Light is a 2019 British comedy-drama film directed by Gurinder Chadha, inspired by the life of journalist Sarfraz Manzoor and his love of the works of Bruce Springsteen. Manzoor co-wrote the script, with Chadha and Paul Mayeda Berges. It is based on Manzoor’s memoir Greetings from Bury Park: Race, Religion and Rock N’ Roll. Set in the town of Luton in 1987 Thatcherite Britain, the film tells the coming-of-age story of Javed, a British-Pakistani Muslim teenager whose life is changed after he discovers the music of Springsteen. Viveik Kalra stars in the lead role, along with Hayley Atwell, Rob Brydon, Kulvinder Ghir and Nell Williams in supporting roles. The film premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival and was released by Entertainment One in the United Kingdom on 9 August 2019, and by Warner Bros. and New Line Cinema in the United States on 16 August 2019. Blinded by the Light received positive reviews from critics, and also received nominations for Best Film and Best Actor (for Kalra) at the 2019 SIFF Awards.
Springsteen allowed twelve of his songs to be used in the soundtrack and it features several Springsteen rarities, including the first performance of “The River,” from the No Nukes concerts at Madison Square Garden in 1979 and an acoustic rendition of “The Promised Land” that Springsteen performed in 2014 at Washington, D.C.’s National Mall. The soundtrack also showcases a number of Springsteen’s classics such as “Badlands,” “Hungry Heart” and a 1975 acoustic recording of “Thunder Road” performed at The Roxy Theatre. The soundtrack contains a previously unreleased Springsteen song “I’ll Stand by You”, which was originally written for inclusion in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.