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Before seeing this, I was put off by the subject matter, but this is not your average triumph over adversity story. Although this is technically about blind Tibetan kids climbing Mt. Everest, there is so much more to it. This movie shows the very strong, often contradictory personalities of two highly accomplished blind adults leading the children, Erik and Sabriye. Erik is an American blind mountain climber/athlete and Sabriye is a blind German academic who started a school in Lhasa Tibet. They are both exceptional in their own ways, but disagree on what will really build confidence in the kids. Erik wants them to reach the summit while Sabriye wants them to enjoy Erik as a role model and take pleasure in moment. The nuances are complicated and one walks away not really being sure who was right or if the whole climb was a mistake or a great idea. The most profound scenes are with the Tibetan children themselves and the hardships they faced before finding their way to the school. The most moving for me was the story of Tashi, a frail teenager who grew up on the streets after his parents abandoned him. I could watch a whole movie on his life and was happy to learn that thanks to the school, he is now running a successful small business with some of his fellow students. If you liked Spellbound or Murderball, you will love this.
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