- 1 min
Blindsight is a documentary film that tells the inspiring story of six blind Tibetan teenagers, who embark on a journey to climb the 23,000-foot Lhakpa Ri mountain, adjacent to Mount Everest. The film follows these courageous teenagers, who have never seen mountains before, as they train for climbing with the support of Sabriye Tenberken, a blind German woman who founded a school for the blind in Tibet. The documentary is significant not only for its portrayal of the physical challenges of mountain climbing but also for its depiction of the emotional struggles that come with being blind in a hostile world. The film explores the cultural and societal attitudes towards blindness in Tibet, where it is seen as a curse, and the lack of opportunities for blind people to live independent lives. The documentary highlights the transformative power of adventure and education in changing these perceptions and empowering the blind. Blindsight is directed by Lucy Walker, an award-winning British documentary filmmaker, and skilfully captures the challenges and beauty of the Himalayan landscape. The film is character-driven, with each teenager having a unique personality and backstory. The audience is introduced to Tashi, a rebellious young man who dreams of being a singer, and likes nothing more than teasing his teammates. Sonam, on the other hand, is a shy girl who lost her sight to meningitis when she was five, and her illiterate parents didn't take her to a hospital. Dachung is the most experienced climber of the team, and Pemba, who is the team's captain, has a mischievous sense of humour. The film's most remarkable feature is how it avoids romanticising the teenagers' blindness or portraying them as "superheroes". On the contrary, the film shows the difficulties they face in everyday life, such as cooking, cleaning, and reading, without the help of a sighted person. At one point in the film, the teenagers visit a blind school in a city, where they realise how lucky they are to have access to an education and the chance to climb a mountain. Blindsight is a testament to the resilience and determination of the human spirit. The documentary doesn't shy away from showing the risks of mountain climbing or the dangers the blind teenagers face. There are moments where the audience is left holding their breath, as the teenagers navigate an icy crevice or descend steep rocks. But the film also showcases some breathtaking vistas of the Himalayas. The teenagers' reactions to the scenery they explore is heart-warming and infectious. The documentary also explores the relationship between the blind teenagers and their sighted guides, who are all experienced mountaineers. The guides are initially sceptical about the teenagers' ability to climb Lhakpa Ri, but they soon realise how skilled and brave their charges are. The bond between the blind teenagers and the guides grows stronger with each step of the ascent, and the guides learn just as much from their students as they teach them. Blindsight concludes with a triumphant and emotional summit of Lhakpa Ri. The moment the teenagers reach the top of the mountain is a testament to the power of perseverance and teamwork. The film is a beautiful and uplifting tribute to the bravery and endurance of the blind teenagers and their guides. It is a reminder that sometimes, the most extraordinary accomplishments are achieved through the simplest act of believing. In conclusion, Blindsight is an awe-inspiring documentary that transports the audience to the top of the Himalayan mountains and into the hearts of the six teenagers who dared to climb them. The film is a must-watch for anyone who celebrates the human spirit's resilience and the power of education and adventure to transform lives.