Religious drama ‘Sight’ passed by ‘the Angel Guild’
LONDON: (Web Desk) “Sight”, the new biopic of innovative eye surgeon Dr Ming Wang, carries certain faith-based assumptions open to question, and reflects an aggressive, if innovative, marketing strategy on the part of its faith-based studio.

 It opens with a note saying the film’s been passed by “the Angel Guild” affiliated with releasing studio Angel Studios. The facts of the film seem inspiring enough. Dr. Wang grew up in the middle of China’s Cultural Revolution, Red Guards stomping through his hometown smashing anything that smacked of “bourgeois elements”—in other words, any previously-established system. With traditional education forbidden, he put his aspirations to become a doctor on hold and trained as a musician.

After the Cultural Revolution blew over in the late 1970s, Wang got back on track to becoming a physician, like his father and grandfather before him. He worked incredibly hard, scored near-perfect grades, and immigrated to America to continue his studies at Harvard and MIT.

As the film gets underway, we see Dr. Wang (played by Terry Chen), settled in Nashville, Tennessee, where he’s founded his own eye surgery clinic to great acclaim. He’s open-faced and fond of forced smiles, but his sad eyes, and the bags beneath them, betray him. He’s pushed his determined personal drive into harmful workaholism and although the movie’s subtle about this at first, he’s losing a battle with alcohol abuse.

Wang’s faithful sidekick, Dr. Misha Bartnovsky (Greg Kinnear), urges him to take it easy, get some decent sleep, lay off the booze, and try dating. But nothing gets through. Wang throws himself at seemingly-impossible medical tasks, goes home, drinks, and sleeps.

Eyes are of course crucial to the doctor’s work, so we get plenty of shots of eye exams, eye tests, plastic eye models, close-ups of young people rendered sightless through war, accident, or outright cruelty.

Wang’s own eyes, or perhaps his brain, betray him at times. He keeps seeing people from his past, people he left behind decades and thousands of miles ago. But they haunt him, especially when he feels trapped, and feels like a failure. He can’t discuss his hauntings with anyone, and it only makes him reach for another bottle.

Wang’s life begins to turn when he meets a young Indian girl, Kajal (Mia SwamiNathan). She was blinded with acid by her stepmother so she could become a street beggar—a heinous practice all too common in India—and she comes all the way to Nashville in the care of a nun, Sister Marie (Fionnula Flanagan) for a possible surgical cure. Her journey, and her faith in the Christian God, furnish Wang with a spiritual way forward.

Dr Wang’s innovations include several patented inventions, a few designed to restore vision in the wake of corneal scarring, which was previously very difficult or impossible to treat. His track record for altruism, and philanthropy, remains impeccable.