A Film By Cole Sax
Manifesto FIlms & WZRDMedia
Nestled in the rice fields of the Philippines, a family faces the life-inhibiting consequences of blindness until a doctor visits the village and gives the gift of sight in under five minutes.
Eyes are often described as the windows into the soul. They are not only valuable in seeing into another person's soul, but they are also vital in how we view the world around us. When you lose this aspect of your life, you lose your identity. This is the harsh reality for Virgilio Lahiohan who takes care of his blind wife Joanly Lahiohan, and his family of four. We follow Virgilio & Joanaly's journey up until the point when her sight is restored by a group of doctors performing the miraculous 10-minute cataract removal surgery and sees her family for the first time in years.
As their hopes, dreams, and challenges are revealed throughout the film, the audience is suspended by tension as Dr. Malaubay slices into the eyeball and in under ten minutes removes the cataract that has plagued our main character for years. In the end, we are relieved and at ease as Malaubay & Levenson tells Joanaly her sight has returned.
They embrace one another, say their goodbyes, and as they leave, we reveal an endless line of patients awaiting the same surgery. It is now that we step back and realize the scale of this problem. This is our closing image. To weave together the emotional connection with this family and the immensity to which blindness affects the Phillippines in one single stitch.