770,000 people in Congo are unnecessarily blind. This is why we will be following blind Congolese; so we can experience their daily struggles with society firsthand to show the huge impact of this limitation on people and the environment. We will then follow the journey of both an older person and a child towards healing, made possible by domestic and foreign doctors.
Blindness is like a taboo in Africa and that affects not only the blind, but also their entire families and environment. There are even cases where the family is completely isolated from the rest of the village. Therefore being blind is not only the condition itself, but also the additional effects of this strong superstition, where many suffer rejection from their entire society as a result.
We know about general issues within developing countries and see countless portrait photos of people in this situation day in, day out. We hope to go further than just a simple portrait. They are not mascots of poverty, but people with intimate stories and a life that, in our case, can be changed forever once their cataract eye condition is treated.
It is therefore of great importance to respond to the actual lives of these people and that includes the associated emotions. People have the right to be able to explain their own story without being seen as an attraction.
A cinematic approach to this documentary is therefore a logical choice. We avoid the typical reporting style but opt for a cinematic style through artistic, well-thought out frames, lighting and a variety of different types of lenses.
In Belgium, blind and partially sighted people - for a small consolation - can still benefit from a social safety net. This is not the case in Congo. In Congo, blindness has an impact on the whole family. A blind family member cannot participate in daily life or contribute to the family's income. Often the children or grandchildren have to take care of their blind parent or grandparent, therefore they are unable to go to school.
A person with a disability usually lives on the fringes of society, has no work and is often rejected by his or her family. In addition to that, less than ten percent of children with a disability are able to go to school.
After learning this I realised one thing very clearly: I am really a privileged person. Because if I had been born in a developing country, I would probably also now live on the fringes of society.
It is therefore time to give back.
Mid-June we leave for the Democratic Republic of Congo. The recordings will take place in Lubumbashi, Kolwezi & Likasi in the south of the country.
Making a documentary costs money. Lots of money. And that's why we seek support. All the money that we raise through crowdfunding and other channels will go directly to the production of the documentary. We do not pay ourselves a wage, but we are faced with high costs such as airline tickets, film permits, hotel stays & of course, we also have to eat :-). Everyone who supports us will get something nice in return in the form of a reward!
From €500 you will receive a print of the "Working woman in Myanmar". A photo from which I won the National Geographic photo competition in the category "human" last year. Since then I have often been asked to sell this photo as a print. If you want to be able to display the "Working woman in Myanmar" at home in your living room, then do not hesitate any longer and support the production today.
PREMIERE ON 29 NOVEMBER 2019!
For €15 you can already buy a ticket to attend the premiere at the C-Mine in Genk. The premiere will take place on November 29, 2019. It will be an inspiring evening where you will not only see the documentary for the first time, but there will also be guest speakers. If, after watching the documentary you are left with questions, please feel free to chat with us!