C+ Sound: C+ Extras: B- Main Program: B
we hear about Tibet, there is a dark side and it includes a shocking prejudice
against the blind with ugly myths and backwards ideas that it is some kind of
punishment or curse. I guess Richard
Gere and the Dalai Lama blew it!
However, others seem to care more and a blind man from the U.S. named
Erik Weihenmayer decided to get a group together, reach out to blind children
in Tibet and climb a mountain. Lucy
Walker’s Blindsight (2008) shows how
they came together to make the climb at Lhakpa Ri, right next to Mount Everest
and 23,000 feet high.
the situation is a terrific woman from Germany named Sabriye Tenberken, who is
also blind but very able-bodied, which is the point of the trip. They (and some other climbers, some who have
sight) believe that if these children can take this trip, they too will gain
new confidence about themselves, their lives and the result is a new world
opened up; the outside world.
becomes a character study of those too often left behind and among them those
who refuse to put up with second best.
Erik spearheads the trip and the more he tries, the more interesting
things happen and surprises snowball (no pun intended) as we then get to learn
more about the lives of the blind children.
What we then get is an amazing mix of pain and triumph like few films
(narrative or otherwise) we have seen in a while. Sabriye and Erik also have some chemistry and
that adds to the events. When so much of
life has been made heartless and soulless by the idiocies of mass media and
“reality TV”, Blindsight is a
must-see triumph that shows how to make a documentary about human beings. Don’t miss it!
enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot on digital video and does not look bad
considering how tough it must have been to record while climbing a
mountain. The Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo
mixes are often location audio with some limits, but it is not bad and the
combination is just fine. Extras include
an audio description track for the blind, trailer, audience reaction, making of
featurette, Young Tibetans Trip To The
U.S., Young Tibetans update and Insights
from Erik and Sabriye.
information on and ways to contribute and help, try this link:
- Nicholas Sheffo