Opening Our Eyes
- Official Website
- Social Issues, Human Rights, Foreign Worlds, Human Interest, and Anthropology
Every dayâ€¦.All around the worldâ€¦
Ordinary people are doing extraordinary things. They are making a difference in the lives of others â€“ and themselves.
Mother/daughter filmmakers, circle the globe on a 99-day journey, seeking people who are making a positive difference in the world. They find remarkable people who are showing the world how to inspire others and create positive change - through the power of ONE.
This film tells the stories of eleven change makers on six continents who are making our world a better place.
Meet some of these amazing people:
â€¢ Maggie â€“ a 19-year-old on a post-high school â€œgap year,â€ who built a home in Nepal for 30 orphansâ€¦ using her saved babysitting earnings! She now lives there, and has recently completed construction on a school for 250 children.
â€¢ Davidâ€“ a physician who trekked into Thailandâ€™s remote northern hill-tribe villages, offering medical care where there is no doctor.
â€¢ Ronni â€“ a successful event planner, who saw good food being dumped
- Show treatment
23-year-old Maggie Doyne, a young American from suburban New Jersey, stands ankle deep in sewage and medical waste. She is outside the childrenâ€™s home in Surkhet, Nepal, where she lives with her 30 children. She was 19 when she built their home using her lifeâ€™s savings. Maggie is upset because last nightâ€™s monsoon rain dumped everything on her doorstep, where the sewer line abruptly stops due to a municipal budget shortage. Maggie jumps on her scooter and heads to the local municipal office in Surkhet. She walks in, with cameras rolling, and in fluent Nepali, voices her complaint to the men in charge. The embarrassed officials promise to fix the problems. Maggie leaves, frustrated by one of the many battles she faces on a daily basis.
Maggieâ€™s story is one of eleven stories about people like her who are making a difference in the world. A mother/daughter filmmaking team takes us on their 99-day journey to six continents, circling the globe and searching for the change-makers of our world â€“ people who are making the impossible, possible.
An old woman lies on the floor of a bamboo hut, wincing as Dr. David Marnaw reaches into her mouth and yanks out her bad tooth. Itâ€™s hot and steamy as the doctor starts his day in a remote mountain village in northern Thailand. Heâ€™s still muddy from his three-mile trek to this village â€œwhere no doctors go.â€ Refugees flock to the village for medical treatment once they hear the doctor is visiting. The next day, Dr. David is up before dawn and works well past dark, building a latrine for a village family. The doctor says, â€œI know that if I make these peopleâ€™s living conditions more sanitary, I will prevent their illnesses.â€
Yulia Simonova is trying to get her wheelchair down a steep ramp and she looks for someone in the parking lot of her Moscow office who can help her. A young woman shows up and eases Yuliaâ€™s chair down the ramp, and then helps her into her car, which has been modified with hand controls. Yulia, a pretty, young Russian woman, tells us how she broke her back in a gymnastics accident when she was ten years old, leaving her a paraplegic. After the accident, Yulia tells us that she couldnâ€™t attend school because the building was not handicap accessible. Today, Yulia is headed to a school in Moscow where she will speak to kids about what it is like to be a disabled person in Russia. She must drive her own car because she cannot use any form of public transportation. Yulia hopes that someday, she will be able to get around her own city with ease and disabled people wonâ€™t be kept out of sight.
A fight breaks out in the parking lot of Oasis, a support network for homeless youth in Sydney, Australia. Paul Moulds hears the commotion and heads out to break it up. Meanwhile, a young woman comes up to us and pulls her arm out of her shirt, exposing a twelve-inch jagged scar that she got during a knife fight. Later that night, Paul heads into the tough neighborhoods of Sydney to reach out to the homeless kids. He gives them food, but he knows that many of them just want someone to listen to them. Paul states, â€œItâ€™s appalling, that we have such a problem with youth homelessness in such an affluent country like Australia. I know what that life is like and I want to be there for these kids, to show them that thereâ€™s a way out of a life on the street.â€
Maria Eugenia Cuyas is cheek to cheek with another woman who has tears in her eyes as they glide around the dance floor of Mariaâ€™s little studio. Maria is a tango therapist in Buenos Aires. She is connecting with her pupil through touch and the oneness of the tango. There are eight women in the studio, talking, dancing and learning how to connect with future patients as they learn how to heal using tango therapy. Maria uses the healing power of the dance to help Alzheimer patients and couples with marital problems.
Marian Kramer and Maureen Taylor are ex-auto workers in Detroit. We board the bus with them one cold February day and head to Lansing to take part in a demonstration about the privatization of Detroitâ€™s water. Detroitâ€™s water rates quadrupled and residents living in the declining inner city neighborhoods of this city got their service cut off. Maureen and Marian are in Lansing to be a voice for the poor and disadvantaged, and to speak out that water should be a basic human right â€“ not a profit center for stockholders.
Gina Low is frustrated that the village has not maintained the water tank that she and her colleague, Pablo Guerra, had installed less than a year ago. The tank was clogged and had become useless in collecting and distributing rainwater. We have just traveled an hour by boat up the Amazon River from Iquitos, Peru. At another village we stop at, Gina gets even more frustrated. She had given ten hardwood seedlings to a boy to plant and cultivate so that when he becomes a man, he will have wood to build his home with. Gina stands with the boy in the overgrown, tangled mess of vegetation that is strangling the young hardwood plants, as she tries to explain â€œthe futureâ€ to someone in a part of the world where people focus on daily survival.
We weave in and out of each personâ€™s story, returning to Maggieâ€™s story as the anchor of the film. We hear their hopes, dreams and frustrations, as they go about their daily routines. We begin to understand the power of â€œoneâ€ and the potential of what can happen with even the simplest of acts.
In the end we realize that in giving to others and making a difference in their lives, we richly reward our own lives.
- Running time
- 61 and 76 minutes
- Gail Mooney ... Director, Producer, Cinematographer
- Erin Kelly ... Producer,Sound
- Erik Freeland ... Editor
- Thomas Kelly ... Co-Producer
- Angel Burns ... Executive Producer
- Prod. Co.
- Nola Productions, LLC
- United States
- Years of Production
- 2010, 2011
- Uganda, Poland, Russia, Thailand, Nepal, Australia, Argentina, Peru and USA
- Release year
- San Luis Obispo, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Artivist, Carmel, Los Angeles Women's, Bare Bones, Costa Rica, Global Peace, Chicago Social Change, Utopia, Naperville, Myrtle Beach, Awareness, Tallgrass, Ojai, Red Rock
- Best Documentary-Orlando and Costa Rica, Best of Fest-Los Angeles Intnl. Women's FF, Best Humanitarian Doc-Bare Bones, Festival Theme Award:Enriching the Human Spirit-Ojai, Utopian Visionary Award-Utopia FF, Visionary Award-Awareness FF
- Self distribution
- English, Spanish, Polish
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