You Must See Blindsight
Climbing a mountain is quite a task, all by itself; climbing it as a blind person gives courage a completely new meaning. Blindsight, produced by Robson Entertainment, tells the story of six blind students, all members of blind educator Sabriye Tenberken's school for the blind in Tibet. As if that weren't enough, they are led up the hill by the famed blind mountain climber, Erik Weihenmayer. Yup! The blind leading the blind. And the fascinating story begins.
Tibetans consider blindness a cardinal sin, visited on a person who has defied the gods; someone upon whom God's wrath has descended, causing them to be scorned and rejected by their parents and the community. It was Ms. Tenberken's courage and determination that allowed her to step into that society and offer those children a sanctuary and a place to grow and learn.
With patience, understanding and confidence boosters in place, six of her teenage students are recruited to scale the peaks of Everest in a climb of 23,000 feet to Lhakpa Ri on its north side. Naturally, each student receives hands-on training from one adult member of the team to prepare for the climb; all of it designed to enhance self-confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness.
The youths' background, history and herstory is presented briefly, along with their preparation and training which adds to our awareness and concern for this challenge. The problems, issues and difficulties of the climb are measured so that we, as viewers, can accompany the trekkers with more alacrity.
Among the criticisms I would register is the need for larger, clearer subtitles; the ones in the documentary are quite small and somewhat unclear, especially on a white background. Nothing of the students' personal habits are presented in the film: Did they wash during the three weeks? Time was spent showing the physical fatigue and some of the complications arising out of the climb but, actually, they were glossed over.
You will get to know some of the youngsters quite well and you will feel their pain, along with their glory in the challenge that they ultimately succeeded in achieving. Blindsight definitely deserves to be seen!
Opening in March, 2008.For more information,visit www.blindsightthemovie.com