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Matinee: Blindsight

Sat 8 October 2011 // 14:00

(Sat 8th Oct / 2pm / £5/4)
(Lucy Walker / UK / 2008 / 103 minutes / Cert E: suitable for all)

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of the Himalayas, Blindsight follows the gripping adventure of six Tibetan teenagers who set out to climb the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. A dangerous journey soon becomes a seemingly impossible challenge made all the more remarkable by the fact that the teenagers are blind.

Believed by many Tibetans to be possessed by demons, the children are shunned by their parents, scorned by their villages and rejected by society. Rescued by Sabriye Tenberken - a blind educator and adventurer who established the first school for the blind in Lhasa, the students invite the famous blind
mountain climber Erik Weihenmayer to visit their school after learning about his conquest of Everest. Erik arrives in Lhasa and inspires Sabriye and her students Kyila, Sonam Bhumtso, Tashi, Gyenshen, Dachung and Tenzin to let him lead them higher than they have ever been before. The resulting 3-week journey is beyond anything any of them could have predicted.

"I feel very privileged to have been able to have spent three months travelling in Tibet, and to have had this chance to get to know some of this unique place and its inspiring inhabitants and beautiful culture, and I am honoured to share that with audiences. In particular, the visits to the six students’ homes and villages are pretty unique, as far as I know, in terms of the access we gained to ordinary Tibetan homes and villages -- and attitudes. My goal is that people come out of the movie theatre and stay up talking all night about the rights and wrongs, and the pros and cons, and the East and West, and the blind and sighted, and the Tibet and China, and the Sabriye and Erik, and the falling on your face versus falling on your ass of it all…”

Director Lucy Walker.