BLINDSIGHT Add To My Top 10

Overcoming Incredible Obstacles

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Release Date: March 05, 2008

Starring: N/A

Genre: Documentary

Audience: Older children to adults

Rating: PG

Runtime: 104 minutes

Distributor: Abramorama

Director: Lucy Walker

Executive Producer: Steven Haft

Producer: Sybil Robson Orr

Writer: N/A

Address Comments To:

Richard Abramowitz
Abramorama
22 Green Valley Road
Armonk, New York 10504
Phone: (914) 273-9545
Fax: (914) 273-1351
Email: [email protected]

Content:

(BB, FR, Pa, L, V, A, M) Strong moral worldview extols compassion, loyalty, teamwork, honesty, decency, and equal opportunity with a harsh rebuke of Buddhist elitism at the very beginning but lots of references to Buddhist prayers, seeking favor from monks, and reincarnation throughout the movie because it is set in Tibet; five light obscenities and one light profanity; lots of mountain climbing, adventure, threats of violence, and minor action violence regarding mountain climbing but nobody’s hurt; no sex; no nudity; possible drinking; no smoking; and, young man lies but later repents.

Summary:

BLINDSIGHT is an exciting, entertaining, inspiring documentary about a blind mountain climber and a German social worker who help some older blind children in Tibet learn to climb mountains and thus fulfill their potential.

Review:

BLINDSIGHT is not only an exciting, entertaining documentary, but it is also filled with compassion and wonderful insights into characters and the human condition.

The movie starts talking about Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind man to have climbed Mount Everest. When he went blind as a young boy, he was determined to show that he was still competent in all areas. Thus, he took rock climbing and that led to his mountain climbing fame.

A blind German woman who is refused admittance to the German equivalent of the Peace Corps, named Sabriye Tenberken, went on her own to Tibet to help blind children in that impoverished, desolate country to fulfill their potential. For some reason in Tibet, a lot of children go blind. She hears about Eric conquering Everest and writes him to see if he would take some of the blind students mountain climbing.

She notes at the beginning of the movie that Buddhism looks upon any physical defect, especially blindness, as a curse or even a demon. The Buddhists shun blind people. This clear report of Buddhism’s elitist attitudes is refreshing. It is well known to those who have studied Buddhism, but most Westerners have no idea how cruel the religion is.

When Sabriye has to visit the parents of the children who want to go mountain climbing, they give various explanations of their children’s curses. One father gave up his son to a Chinese couple so they could use him to beg for money and split the money with the father. When the boy proved no good for begging, they beat him horribly, and he still bears cigarette burns on his body. He ran away, then found a home in Sabriye’s school for the blind.

Eric comes to Tibet with a group of men whom he says are the best blind guides in the world. Quickly, they find these kids have no experience climbing anything, and they are shocked they have to start from ground zero.

Every step up the mountain to visit a peak next to Everest is fraught with trials. At 15-17,000 feet, people can get an altitude sickness called endema that will quickly expand their brains and kill them. Three of the children have to be sent back because of headaches. They weep because they have missed their chance to prove they are just as capable as anyone else.

The photography and editing of BLINDSIGHT has brought it many positive reviews and awards. It is a very captivating documentary that keeps you on the edge of your seat with jeopardy and danger.

One young Tibetan is actually Chinese and has been lying about his identity. When they find his father, it is clear the father lies about the boy too. The boy repents.

This is an incredible experience for these children. Regrettably, they seek the blessing of Buddhist monks and there are several other positive mentions of Buddhist faith, even though it is clear that Buddhism relegates these blind children to lesser humanity. There are some severe arguments and a few light obscenities. And, there are some dangerous moments where the children fall, and the jeopardy is truly scary.

Except for the Time magazine cover discussing Eric’s blind faith and some positive mentions of faith from his father, there is no overt Christianity. However, Sabriye’s ministry to these young people, and Eric’s compassion is the product of a Christian belief in loving your neighbor and that all men are created in the image of God. If you look carefully at the movie, you will note that the Buddhist culture offers none of the love, compassion and other virtues in which the westerners who came to help these kids were steeped.

In Brief:

BLINDSIGHT is not only an exciting, entertaining documentary, but it is also filled with compassion and wonderful insights into characters and the human condition. The movie starts talking about Erik Weihenmayer, the only blind man to have climbed Mount Everest. A blind German woman, named Sabriye Tenberken, enlists Erik’s help in taking some blind students in Tibet mountain climbing. The blind children have been rejected by the Buddhists around them. Eric comes to Tibet with a group of men whom he says are the best blind guides in the world. Quickly, they find these children have no experience climbing anything, and they are shocked they have to start from ground zero.

The photography and editing of BLINDSIGHT has brought it many positive reviews and awards. It is a very captivating documentary that keeps you on the edge of your seat with jeopardy and danger. Regrettably, they seek the blessing of Buddhist monks and there are several other positive mentions of Buddhist faith, even though it is clear that Buddhism relegates these blind children to lesser humanity. The compassion of Erik and the German woman, based on Western Christianity, shines through, however.