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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Mountain Climbing > Blindness > Tibet > Blindsight (2008/Image DVD)

Blindsight (2008/Image DVD)


Picture: C+     Sound: C+     Extras: B-     Main Program: B



For all 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.


Helping 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.


It 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!


The anamorphically 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.



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