Detail

Title ID 9238Collection ID1123
TitleFocus on Sight
Date1976-1977
CollectionSightsavers
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
ThemeRural Life
KeywordsAccidents Buildings Charities Children Communities Disabled Persons Education Farming Health Services Men Rural Areas Social Problems Trades Urban Areas Villages Women Workers
Location
LocalJarigawan Blantyre Lower Shire
NationalIndia Malawi Asia
Credits
ProductionJames Hill Productions
DirectorJames Hill
ProducerJames Hill Productions; World Health Organisation
Commissioning bodyRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
Funding bodyRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind; World Health Organisation
EditorCharles Davies
WriterJames Hill
NarratorJohn Westbrook
SoundCinelingual
MusicJohn Scott
Other credits(Graphics) Flicks; (Film Processing) Rank Film Laboratories LTD;
Format16mm Colour Sound
Duration00:15:35:17
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details

Summary

This colour documentary film opens with titles in several languages that reads 'Focus on Sight' and highlights the impact of blindness on everyday lives. The four main major causes of blindness in Malawi are explored starting with Trachoma, Xerophthalmia, cataract and river blindness, along with the main causes of the diseases. Scenes of children and adults being examined are seen along with the symptoms of various diseases and extensive malnutrition.

Description

This film opens with titles in several languages that reads: 'Focus on Sight' and highlights the impact of blindness on everyday lives. The four main major causes of blindness are explored - Trachoma, Xerophthalmia, cataract and river blindness. Scenes include shots of malnourished and unwell children and adults being examined by a physician/specialist.

The film demonstrates some of the techniques by aid agencies to kill black fly larvae, the root cause of River Blindness, through the use of low doses of insecticide in local rivers and streams and the simple surgical procedures to remove cataracts. Various shots show children suffering from the symptoms of poverty and malnutrition, highlighting the causes of Xerophthalmia, a deficiency in vitamin A. An aerial shot of a rural village community is followed by shots of an eye camp being set up, taken from an earlier film from Jarigawan, India.

The final sequence explores the treatment for Trachoma, remedied by improving personal hygiene and cleanliness and topical eye treatments using antibiotics. The film ends with a summary, highlighting the cost of paying blind pensions to the national economy and the impact of blindness on communities. This is illustrated by shots of trainees at craft and farming centres in several villages in Malawi learning rural craft and farming skills.

A hard-hitting sequence of edited shots follows, showing personal injury and harm to a group of adults and children, accompanied by a western approach to dealing with illness, injury and blindness. The film ends on a quote from Ellen Kellegher, that states: 'Prevention is better than cure' and a full credit sequence. The film includes a voice over narrative and music soundtrack.

Stills

A still from Focus on Sight (1976-1977)

Contextual information

This film uses footage filmed at the eye-camps in Jarigawan, India and used in another film from this collection (TID 9237, Title; Eye Camps), and from two villages (Blantyre, Lower Shire) in Malawi where craft centres have been created to rehabilitate men to provide them with the necessary skills in crafts and farming (ID-9236, Title: Looking On Darkness).

Related resources

Website

Focus on Sight (1967)

Further information can be seen on the BFI Explore Film & TV page with cast and credits
http://explore.bfi.org.uk/4ce2b6d59aeec