Out of Darkness

A documentary on Dr Sanduk Ruit of Nepal and his Cure Blindness Initiative, Out of Darkness depicts the story of the people in the developing countries (Nepal) who are not even able to get the simple cataract surgery that is taken for granted in the West. Their lack of knowledge and resources have resulted in increasing the cases of preventable blindness in Nepal, especially in the rural mountainous countryside where being blind is similar to living with a death sentence.

out of darkness

The movie moves along with Dr Ruit and his team on a four day trek to the place where this service is taken to those who are in desperate need of it. As the intraocular lens implants are expensive, the doctor has set up a lab in Nepal to manufacture them, however, making the artificial lenses is easier compared to transporting them to those patients who needs it. The geography and the landscape of the mountainous countryside make it more difficult to travel from village to village not only for the patients but also for those who are physically fit. This difficulty adds up to the previous problem of lack of resources which makes it more difficult to the patients to travel to the city for treatment. The movie depicts their story and the silent pleas in an effective way.

The movie that also won the Jury Prize in the Mountain Film Competition at the 2011 Mountain Film Awards in New Zealand depicts the initiative taken by Dr Sanduk Ruit, an eye surgeon from Okhaldhunga in eastern Nepal who also won the 2006 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Peace and International Understanding that is equivalent of the Nobel Peace Prize. He did fourteen month training at Sydney’s Prince of Wales Hospital and has also worked with Fred Hollows. He has utilized the technique of cataract micro-surgery using intraocular lenses that he had learned in Australia to restore the eye-sight of those in need, who could never have afforded it otherwise. He has continued his work and had and has been restoring the eye-sight of thousands of the blind. The documentary Out Of Darkness is a wonderful description of his work and is worth a watch.