The End Of Blindness: Review

Blindness is a condition which can be caused in many ways. It could be a degenerative disease which could be genetic, it could be a condition that occurs when somebody is young after not getting the proper treatment. It could even be an infection that gets out of hand and in most places, it could be easily treatable before it becomes permanent.

The End of Blindness is a documentary that follows Dr. Samuel Bora as he travels around rural Ethiopia to provide free cataract surgery to those people who have been affected where their conditions could have easily been cured.

Written and directed by A.J. Martinson in his documentary debut, there are many interviews with experts on such eye conditions, with Dr. Bora himself and with the patients before and after their surgery that puts their lives back together. Travelling to Ethiopia, a deep voiced narrator tells the story of Dr. Bora and his patients and at first it may feel like a charity appeal.

Although after a while it starts to explore Dr. Bora’s motivations and becomes much more of a personal story where he’s giving back to a community that gave him so much.

Unfortunately, the documentary does paint sight loss as the end of life for many Ethiopians and although there is light at the end of the tunnel, it would have been nice to have shown some effort to help people to cope. Although when the operations for Dr. Bora’s various patients both young and old are a success, it will make the audience feel good.

There may also be a little bit of a direction which suggests to the audience that powerful white American doctors have come to save the day, although thankfully besides a little patronising, the documentary focuses solely on Dr. Bora’s work. The End of Blindness is the kind of story that may have been told many times in many documentaries and films.

In films, the depiction of a white doctor saving a less fortunate group of people in a third world country may have been the focus. Thankfully though, the documentary helps to break that stereotype and show intelligent, talented people such as Dr. Bora helping others.

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