The documentary, Blindsight, is the story of a 2004 expedition when Erik and his Mount Everest team attempted to guide six blind Tibetan teenagers to the 23,000 foot Lhakpa Ri on the north side of Mount Everest. Filled with emotion, struggle, and triumph, Blindsight delivers great cinematography combined with a complex journey of self-discovery and teamwork.

Blindsight was directed by Lucy Walker, who also directed the award winning documentary The Devil's Playground. It was produced by Sybil Robson Orr and Steven Haft, also producer of Dead Poet's Society.

The New York Times wrote, "Featuring extraordinary people doing extraordinary things, Blindsight is one of those documentaries with the power to make you re-examine your entire life – or at least get off the couch.”

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  • The first half of this movie had me on the edge of my seat. I felt so nervous I could not even watch this all in one sitting. Finally I finished the movie the next afternoon and was glad I did. It is really a beautiful story filled with bravery and tests of endurance.

    I think the point of this movie is to show that we should learn to enjoy the journey not just concern ourselves with a destination. There is really something to learn from the Tibetans and yet I was troubled to learn about how they blame the blind kids for being bad in a past life. Blindness seems to them to be a punishment. Erik Weihenmayer of course proves that blindness is actually a gift - what a beautiful soul he is.

  • Excellent and quite uplifting documentary. We follow a small group of blind Tibetan teenagers on a journey to climb a mountain right next to Everest; a daunting task for anyone, let alone someone who is blind. As we follow this journey it seems like the goal of reaching the summit is impossible, and this is why the movie works so well.

    I found myself rooting for these people so much it almost hurt. That being said this movie also presents an interesting perspective on how different people and cultures view life…the journey towards the peak in this case being a microcosm of life itself. Is the most important thing about the hike getting to the actual peak…or is the journey itself what is important? This one is just what the doctor ordered for a nice dose of inspiration... and to put things in perspective. I loved it.

    Shawn Palmquist
  • "Blindsight", is a documentary about a young blind German woman, Sabriye Tenberken, who heard about the plight of blind children in Tibet and set out to change their lives. She went to Tibet and opened a Braille school for these children. Rejected by their society as possessed by demons (they must've done something wrong in their previous life!), these children lived in the shadow of their family. Inspired by Erik Weihenmayer, the first blind person to climb Mt. Everest, she and Erik and group of other dedicated Westerners, challenged the children that they, too, can attempt the impossible. What follows is an inspirational journey that changed the lives of these children forever. Did they make it to the top? You need to watch this film to find out. It's a human spirit at its best - beautiful.

  • This is a highly moving film in which several Western mountain climbers come together to bring six Tibetan blind children to the foot of Mt. Everest at approximately 23,000 feet.

    This film is about the human spirit of helping the less fortunate and not giving up on them. It is about realizing that all can learn and benefit together when struggling for a common goal and even though that goal may not be reached, not all is lost. Yes, the kids say little in this film, but what they say, mostly through Sabriye, come through LOUD AND CLEAR. Like what is the rush - stop and smell the roses (in this case feel the icicles and listen to the yak bells). The film suddenly comes to a nice ending, when it seems a couple of the kids cannot go any further for different reasons, and all realize that the exceptional kids have done an extraordinary job of achieving something most in their own culture have not done.

    This film is certainly inspirational in a teamwork sense and could prove motivational in any training setting. It forces you to think about the less fortunate; what you can teach them AND what they can teach you!! I highly recommend this as it is all in all a great film.

    Fernando Lopez
  • I was extremely moved by this film, which deals with the many challenges that face people. In this case, it was blindness and a cultural stigma associated with it.

    I thought this documentary was very well put together, telling a bit of the back-story of key people being featured and the challenges that life has thrown at them. In addition to some biographical information on the characters in this movie, we get the drama of climbing the Himalayas (which would be a challenge without being blind).

    The story moves along rather quickly, where two different cultures and points of view merge into one realization at the end: Life's a journey, not a destination. Well done.

    Damian Gadal
  • One of the most touching, almost sublime, moments in Lucy Walker's documentary, Blindsight, is a meditative exploration of some ice formations on the side of Mount Everest. The film, which follows blind mountaineer, Erik Weihenmayer, as he leads six blind Tibetan teenagers up to the 23,000 foot summit of Lhakpa Ri (practically next door to Everest's summit), spends a lot of time musing about what they're doing: the challenges of being blind, the importance of building self-esteem in young people, the clash of Western and Tibetan notions of success. As the teenagers and Weihenmayer get closer and closer to the summit, and as things get harder and harder (Weihenmayer is the only experienced mountaineer), a new question pops up: is reaching the summit really the most important thing?

    It's then that we have this meditative moment by the ice, when the kids teach the mountaineering crew that sometimes stopping to soak in a moment is much more important than pushing your way through to an arbitrary goal. The joy on everyone's faces, the lilting background music and the vibe of hard-earned peace and contemplation is absolutely lovely. Much more than anything else in the film, this scene captures the bittersweet beauty of what these kids are doing and what it means.

    While there are some interesting discussions about differing cultural attitudes towards blindness, and the dynamic between the American mountaineering experts and the Tibetan kids and workers is fascinating and even a little ambiguous at times, the documentary on the whole sends a crisp, powerful message about working hard and winning big. The simple, humanistic film is much more interested in showing the different back-stories of the kids and their different personalities than making any overly philosophical statement about disability or culture. For that reason, I think this film will be both inspiring and touching for a very broad audience.

  • This is a great documentary about conviction, teamwork, human spirit, conflict, and success in working together for common goals. I highly recommend it. It is a bit too long, but definitely worth seeing it through to the end.

    Cynthia Perry
  • This film has moved me like no other in years: at every turn, we see people struggling not just back to their feet after huge blows, but to the roof of the world. We also see the thousand small ways in which, over the years, they have been helped to get to this point. As a result of watching this film, I know that more is possible - and hope that I too might find my Lhakpa Ri. Thank you for reminding me to see.

    C. I. Rowat
  • This is a story about six blind Tibetan teenagers (and their Western guides) who attempt to climb the 23,000-ft. Lhakpa Ri—that's right next door to Mt. Everest in the Himalayas. And, overall, I found the film to be compelling, entertaining, moving, and thought provoking. My attention was definitely locked in from the first scene and I was certainly moved by the story of these courageous teens.

    Blindsight is a good, compelling, moving and inspiring film that makes just good movie-watching on the one hand, but also provides rich fodder for reflection and discussion on the other. I especially recommend it for use in classroom and training settings. People working in a folk religious or Tibetan context will find this particularly interesting as will those working cross-culturally among people with disabilities.

    Cody Lorance