A JOURNEY FROM DARKNESS TO SIGHT
Living for decades under the Himalayan sun, their eyes have slowly turned milky white. Their luminous cataracts belie the blindness, the utter darkness, that envelops Manisara and Durga. Filmed over three days, Open Your Eyes follows their extraordinary three-day journey down the mountain to see again.
“A blind man is a mouth without hands,” goes an old Nepali saying. Married for more than 50 years and living in the foothills of Nepal, they are no longer the industrious farmers they once were. Manisara peels turmeric root most days and Durga can’t navigate the warren of pathways around him nor can he feed his animals. They feel dependent on their family for even the most basic needs. There are no cars to transport them. Life has become static.
A team of Nepali eye specialists combing the mountainside find them and urge them to come to the city for a chance to see again. A surgeon has come from Kathmandu, and the surgery is free. But the taste of defeat and growing old has made Manisara skeptical. And besides, who would even carry her down the mountain?
Their youngest granddaughter plops herself in Manisara’s lap, and her grandmother starts running her hands over the little girl’s feet, her legs, her nose. Is she like me? Touching the child, Manisara connects her past to her future.
Manisara and Durga are finally convinced. They set out for the eye hospital, tripping over goats and stones as they go, towards the distant city. They are carried, guided and then driven on a bewildering odyssey to restore their sight.
They arrive at the hospital and hear scores of other patients also waiting. Everyone has come for a miracle.