Title ID 9235Collection ID1123
TitleThe Opening Door
Genre/TypeProfessionalFilm/Video companyNon-fictionPromotional/Publicity
KeywordsCharities Children Clothing Communities Disabled Persons Education Ethnic Groups Health Services Men Rural Areas Schools Villages
LocalKano Katsina Batacarawa Abuka
NationalNigeria Africa
ProductionNiger Films
CameraBryan Douglas; John Williamson
DirectorBryan Douglas; John Williamson
ProducerGateway Film Productions Ltd; Niger Films
Commissioning bodyRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
Funding bodyRoyal Commonwealth Society for the Blind
NarratorFrank R. Phillips
SoundJosef Leszczynski
ParticipantsMustafa; Siddiqu
Format16mm Black & White Sound
Copyright & AccessCopyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details


This black and white film highlights the story of Mustafa, a blind Nigerian boy that attends an ordinary school in Kano and a project to educate village elders towards encouraging communities to adopt the use of Braille to teach children to read and write. The film has titles and credits after a long introductory sequence, and a voiceover narrative throughout.


In the film, Mustafa meets his other blind classmates during a week of 'manipulative training', before joining the other children for lessons. His week includes: teaching the children play techniques; how to manipulate moulding clay; and how to wash and bathe on their own. Teachers attend a separate short course to enable them to explore and learn the techniques of Braille including using a stylus and basic training about the eye, and eye health. The next session includes techniques on teaching English to a mixed group of blind and sighted children, with guidance on the right and wrong way to do this. This is followed by a final teaching session on the techniques of teaching arithmetic using tactile frames.

The film then follows Mustafa joining in on a Physical Education session guided by a 'Link' friend and being taught how to read Braille using a Brailleboard. In Katsina, a second instructor is seen teaching crafts and hobbies to two young people. Whilst in Batacarawa a teacher is seendelivering an Arabic lesson on the Koran led by a blind student. In Abuka, a blind girl teaches another blind girl how to spin cotton. The final section of the film follows 'Siddiqu', an older boy, being taught how to use a tactile arithmetic frame to do sums.

The film has titles and credits after a long introductory sequence, placed midway through the film and includes a voiceover narrative throughout.


A still from The Opening Door (1965)

Related resources


The Opening Door (1965)

Further information can be seen on the BFI Explore Film & TV page with cast and credits