Restoring the Light (2011) Script

China has the world s second largest economy. Its major cities are developing at phenomenal rates of growth.

Over sixty percent of the population lives in rural areas, where poverty and inadequate healthcare persist.

RESTORING THE LIGHT Good morning everyone.

Good morning.

Time to report duties.

[Huimin Eye Clinic, Yinchuan City, Ningxia] 8 admitted, 2 inpatients, 1 surgery

7 in observation, 8 in prep, 2 discharged.

Xu Xuehui, male, age 66, cataracts ( in both eyes. Temperature 36.4 degrees Pulse: 65 per min. Respiration: 19 breaths( per min. Blood pressure 110/75mm.

We often go to the countryside.

We see a lot of people who have( never set foot in a hospital before.

Their diseases are easily preventable( and curable with basic medical care.

But they don t have the means to get it.

How s this eye doing?

It s alright.

-So we ll do the other eye. -Yes Some people have never been in a hospital their entire life.

Some have never even left the mountains.

So we can say their state of healthcare is very behind.

After I pursued ophthalmology and started interacting with patients, especially those from the impoverished( countryside, I felt we needed to expand our work.

It s not really about what you get back in return.

The feeling of giving people back their sight is really wonderful.

The surgery went well.

Thank you.

[The Wang Family]

I feel bad for my grandmother not being able to see clearly, her vision worsening day by day.

This makes her really stressed and anxious.

My life has been hard for almost 70 years.

I don t like to talk about the past because it makes me sad.

Last year, I wanted to have an eye surgery.

The doctor said I had high blood pressure and heart disease.

So it didn t happen.

To be honest, people like us, neither do we have money nor is it easy to see a doctor.

My life has been so difficult.

All I can do is just keep living it.

What else can I do?

Just keep living

[The Li Family]

Last year, we went to school to see the teacher.

The teacher said,  your kid can t see,( so we can t accept him. And my mom asked if I can enroll, they said no.

When I wake up in the morning at 6am, my ( daughter-in-law has already left for the fields.

I was telling my daughter- in-law that this is ( harvest season and I want to lend a hand.

I told her that after the wheat harvest, I will rest and not work anymore.

I told her I can t do anything more because I can hardly see where I m walking.

Southern Ningxia Province is very economically disadvantaged.

Traditionally their income comes from what they farm.

When he was 1, he had a cold. We went to a small clinic and they said he had cataracts.

We spent over one thousand yuan in the small clinics, then we went to see a medical team doing a tour.

They said our boy got the wrong medicine.

His eyes got the wrong treatment.

The medical team in Guyuan said to wait till our boy is 10 to see if he can get an operation.

We don t have any money and when we went( to the small clinics, we wasted a lot of it.

Rongrong can t be a laborer. I tell her, you have to go to college.

If you don t make it, you can t be a laborer ( because of your foot problem.

Do you feel pain? Yes, when you pressed this side.

I m actually not quite clear what happened.

My mom says that when I was four ( months old, blisters appeared on my feet then pus flowed out.

They gradually started to rot In the beginning, the problem wasn t too serious.

It flared up only in the summertime, when it was hot.

I d go to the hospital once a week, ( spending over 100 yuan each time.

Injections and medication.

Finally, my foot got better, but only for a couple ( of months. Then it started to fester again.

From then on, it never improved. For the following five( years, for all of secondary school, it didn t get better.

This looks like a vascular infection.

-I haven t done a sonogram. -Vascular infection. Get a sonogram to see.

Why haven t you gotten a proper exam?

I ve seen doctors and they say to have an operation, but that the following year the problem would come back.

They said that even if I amputated,( the problem would come back.

The money in our household is tight.

When we went to Pengyang, they told us ( we had to go to Baoji to get treated.

We couldn t go to Baoji. She has to go to school.

We have to send three kids to school.

We couldn t afford to get her treated.

Save the yolk for the cat.

Let s eat the egg.



OK, I peeled the egg. Take that.

Take that.

Ow, you just hit me!

Don t think I wouldn t dare.

I ll hit you with my candy.

Don t think I wouldn t dare.

You eat it.

You peeled it!

I don t want it.

What do you want to do when you grow up?

I want to go to school and drive.

Why do you want to drive?

I wanna be a driver and drive people.

I wanna do something and drive people.

Why do you want to drive people?

I could earn lots and lots of money.

I could make 10,000 a year.

But I can t see. Even if I can t see, I m still going to drive.

We don t have money at home.

Both our kids are disabled.

We re going to see if we can adopt another kid.

That way, one day, when we re gone, that new child can help this one who can t see.

The new kid can support him. That s what we re thinking.

Our daughter is also disabled.

One day she ll get married off and live with others.

We re going to keep asking around ( to see if we can adopt another boy.


It s fine if we re both here, but what ( about one day when we re gone?

If we can restore just one of his eyes, then a disabled person might want ( to marry him and have his kids.

You raise a son so that he can take a wife and leave kids to continue the family line.

I hope that his vision will be restored.

I just have a very simple wish that I could earn money to give my family a better life.

Pay back all our debts.

That s all.

I tell her, if you pass the college exam, my ( heart will be at ease for the rest of my life.

The Chinese way has always been: you go to school, then college, then you get a job.

You leave the mountainous rural areas.

You drew a new picture today.

The teacher said if it s too hard to ( color all the waves, to do it this way.

-So was the teacher OK with this?( -Yes What did she say?

That my picture was different from the others.

That it was uglier?

That it was prettier.

As I said previously, I m also from ( the southern mountains of Ningxia.

Our financial situation was not so great when I was young.

Because we were poor, the only way to change our life was to go to school to get an education and finally to leave that place.

Starting in 2001, I went to a relatively large hospital in China to study.

It broadened my horizons considerably.

I was no longer satisfied at the old job, so I quit.

I went to a lot of different places.

In the beginning, I took up jobs at private eye clinics to accumulate some experience.

Then I thought of Ningxia Province.

First, I was born in Ningxia.

I thought it was my duty to do something for the people here.

Second, I think the more impoverished a place is, the greater the occurrence and complexity of eye disease.

As an eye doctor, I would be able to develop my medical experience.

My second granddaughter, Ningning, ( is healthy. She helps with everything.

Ningning s feet are fine. She ll have no problem being a laborer.

I ve lived here for more than 20 years.

My mother-in-law has lived here for ( sixty-some years, maybe more.

How did you get your new house?

Thanks to the Party and the government they gave us a few thousand to build a new house.

When I was young, people lived primarily in caves.

You d pare away a side of the mountain, then dig out a cavern.

It was cheap and practical, didn t waste( any materials, just required labor.

This is my mom and my brother.

This is my Grandma. This is my( sister and me when we were little.

This one and this one.

Rongrong used to love decorating things.

When we were living here, she ( decorated our home really nicely.

Now it s not nice anymore.

Good morning everyone.

Good morning.

Time to report duties.

I have two announcements. The first is today we are organizing a mobile( clinic to the Pengyang countryside.

We ll announce the team members shortly.

I packed forty 5mL syringes and ten 10mL syringes

-One triple-mirror.( -Check

A lot of the rural elderly women can t understand Mandarin.

We have to be detailed, patient and conscientious.

We must not lose our temper, because they can t understand what we are saying.

We must be patient with them.

When we do this kind of work, we have to cover our costs.

Given the current financial condition of the hospital, we can t afford to incur loss or we can t continue operations.

Still, we must give the patients the ( most appropriate care at the best cost.

But we need to control our cost.

Let s say we overspend on one patient for example, use up a lot of our resources for one free surgery.

If many others require this, we wouldn t ( be able to continue operations.

So please be aware of the degree of expenditure.

All the same, we must do our best to satisfy patient needs and solve their problems.

When I was little, I would get some ( sticks and draw things in the yard.

Back then my father was very strict.

I didn t dare talk to him. I d hide away from him.

I d talk to my mom. I d follow her around since she was busy.

I told her, I m going to be a painter when I grow up.

My mom didn t say much in return. She said, be one if you like.

This is a picture of an old man. I copied it from a book.

In Xi an, there were hundreds of studios ( and professional model companies.

Those models were all street sweepers.

Most were in their 40s or 50s, some even in their 60s.

When we first got there, none of us had any money.

We were all from Pengyang, the few of us that went.p We all felt really poor.

Buying paints and pens all cost a lot of money.p We d often eat buns and not have ( a real meal for an entire month.

These buns were about this big.

You could buy five for 1 yuan.

Eating like this, we all soon got stomach pains.

Finally, our teacher got mad and said ( we couldn t eat buns all the time.

Our health would deteriorate and we wouldn t ( have enough energy to learn anything.

Maybe learning art will cost a lot of money.

But I ve chosen it, and I will not give up.

I will continue my studies. The money ( problem I will have to deal with later.

When I get to college, maybe I could get a loan.

Now, I can only rely on my father to think of a solution.

[Yinchuan City( Capital of Ningxia Province]

How much does the plant pay you per day?

55 yuan

If your daughter goes to college, what( are you going to do about her tuition?

Get a loan.

Who will provide a loan? The village?

We d have to ask people we know. Pay interest.

-A bank loan?( -Yes

-It s going to be over 10,000 yuan a year.( -Yes Will 10,000 be enough?

For one year, no.

If she gets into this college, every year will cost 28,000 yuan.

I miss him, but he can t just stay home.

Look at all my grandkids. We need ( money to pay for their schooling.

What ll happen if he stays home?

We don t make any profit from our crops. There s nothing.

So he has to go away to work.

He leaves after the planting season.

He left for the city 2 months ago.

 Free eye exams today

-Can you do surgeries for glaucoma? -Yes.

Can we see doctors today?

Bring them over for an exam.

It's for mixed glaucoma.

Bring them over for a checkup and we ll see what we can do.

-They re in the village clinic? -Yes Please hurry.

We have free eye exams at the clinic today.

Please be patient, you have to register first.

Get some paper and jot down his symptoms.

Please look at which side the letter is facing.

Your age?

62 years old.

Your phone number?

I don t have a phone.

Come and sit here.

How many fingers are there?

Look at my fingers. How many?

-I can t see.( -You can t see.

You can t tell.

Come let s check your eyesight.

Is there any light in front of your eyes?

Is there light?


What about now? Is there any light? No.

No Now?

-Yes -Is there light?

Yes Now?

No more.

It seems he has light perception.

Is there light?

Yes Now?

Yes Now?


Look at me.

Both eyes have conjunctivitis.

As well as cataracts.

Right now, both eyes require surgery.

-Both eyes?( -Yes

She s been diagnosed with cataracts before but due to her high blood pressure and heart disease, she didn t get her operation at the local hospitals.

After her exams with the doctors here however, we feel she is able to undergo surgery.

Certainly, we ll have to take some appropriate pre-op measures to ensure she has the best conditions for surgery.

Adjust his head.

Don t move. Look at me.

Look at me.

He still has some light perception. He s afraid of the light.

Look at me.

We should finish all our tests first to see.

His condition permitting, we may suggest ( a corneal transplant for his right eye to see if he can regain some vision.

For this boy who is blind in both eyes this is something we should try.

However, it is difficult to predict what ( will happen after the operation.

People here have certain preconceived notions.

It is very rare, virtually impossible, that ( someone would donate their cornea.

It will be difficult to give him an operation.

Will you receive your college notice soon ( or will you have to wait another day?

I won t be able to receive a notice, but I can find out my score.

After I get my score, based on the ( cutoffs I can list my college preferences.

I ll just go see my score. If it s high, I ll be ( happy. If not, I can t do anything about it.

All I can do is wait.

So you know all the scores.

Did you check mine?

What was it?


I made it?

What was the cutoff?

If my score s over 400, I want to list Xi an ( Science and Technology University.

Science and Construction Technical University?


If 200, you ll list Ningxia University?

This year, Ningxia University raised ( its cutoff to a higher standard.

If I listed Ningxia University, it would be safer. Yes.

[High School Principal s Apartment]

The art major only admits one student ( from my province. I m afraid to list it.

There are still those who have scores higher than you.

The art major only takes 3 students nationally.

Wow, each major only takes 2 to 3 students.

What should I do?

This is your future. You re going ( to have to think about it carefully.


What did you score?


If not 300, then 200.

I scored 401.

I just scraped by 400.

So little?

So little? Other people only got 200.

Luckily I got into a university.

Yes, luckily.

Otherwise you ll have to be like your ( uncle, digging caves for a living.

I can dig caves.

I have a terrible habit.

When I need money to accomplish ( some difficult task, I sell my home.

My first investment was a failure.

I lost everything.

This time to start the new clinic, I sold it again.

My wife is very against it.

But during critical moments, she is still supportive.

I m going downstairs to take a look.

What s going on?

Look what you ve done.


Look what you ve done, calling the local TV crews to come.

We re just shooting a short film, what s wrong?

-Huh? -A short film You should have at least told the management.

We re just shooting their personal life.

Personal or not, you don t have the right-

What does their personal life have to do with the management?

You can t come here.

When you rent, you can just get kicked out anytime.

We re at the end of our lease, so they want to kick us out.

These days I m really anxious and stressed about renting or buying a new place.

Work has been busy so I don t ( have time to househunt thoroughly.

How many characters do you have left?

 Yuan and&

Where do you have to write to?

To Lesson 21.

-Sorry, I lost my self-control.( -No, please don t say that.

It s our fault. Our filming raised this issue.

Not really.

Everytime we have to deal with moving, I get upset.

For the sake of his clinic, I ve already sold our home twice.

Every year, we have to move house.

When the landlord forces me to leave, ( I m sure to cry and become upset.

I sell our home to support his clinic to support his career.

I get pushed around and forced to vacate.

It s the same problem for my daughter, changing schools from one to the next.

I m sorry.

Yanhua, get up. It s time for class.

One, two, three!

Sit up straight!

Four, five, six!

Hands behind back!

Seven, eight, nine!

Raise your head!

Today, we are going to review the songs we ve learned before.

The sun is shining. The flowers are smiling at us.

The bird chirps  Good Morning and asks me why I carry a schoolbag.

Are you happy playing with your sister at school?

Yeah, I m happy.

Do you like school?

I like it.

I can sing in school! You heard me sing.

Now you can sing.

Mothers are the best thing in the world.

Kids who have mothers-

Kids who have mothers are like bundles of treasure.

Being hugged by mom is like all the happiness in the world.

Did your sister teach you to sing?

-Yes( -Yes!

They re playing tag.

Go play.

They re playing tag!

I think the brother and sister were very good together today.

I think it will work, on a certain level.

-Did Juncheng sing well?( -Yes!

Good, let s give him a round of applause.

One, two, three, you re so great!

One, two, three, you re so great!

Good, now you may go back to your seat.

But longterm, I m not sure how it will go.

The daughter has epilepsy.

She often has seizures at school.

Sometimes at school, she ll have a spell and faint.

She loses all consciousness.

It happens so fast, sometimes during class or she may fall suddenly in the yard.

Our teachers and students call ( me right away and I help her up.

I ve seen this happen many times.

Juncheng is completely blind.

He will have difficulty going to school.

We don t have this kind of teaching experience.

Our method is to use the blackboard and read from books.

It will be hard to teach a child like him.

I m house-hunting right now. Do you ( think you can fit me in, in half an hour?

Individual. I m not a broker. I want to buy an apartment.

My budget is around 200,000 yuan, I prefer lower floors, 2nd to 4th floor is fine.

We can t live here.

This bedroom can t fit anything.

We could put a desk in here.

You can t even fit a bed.

What s that area for?

You could hang your clothes there.

It s a bad design for hanging clothes.

Such a poor design.

It s fine for two people. With a kid, it doesn t work.

You can t even fit a bed in that room.

It s too small.

We need the right environment for our child to study in.

What do we do?

They want cash right?

They ll accept bank loans.

Half of 340,000 is 170,000. That s hard too.

We can only look at places that cost about 200,000.

Maybe we can live in an unfinished house.

You said so yourself. Skip the fixtures; we ll just buy furniture.

I ll bring the stool in.

Nothing is more important than life.

I am really hoping her eyes will get better.

I wish there was something I could do to help her.

Be careful of the steps.

After I get my operation, I want to see everything.

The mountains, the water, I want to thread a needle.

And do it myself, with my own eyesight.

Regarding the risks of the operation we re not performing general or local ( anesthesia, so there won t be much risk there.

The risks in her situation have to do with her heart condition.

It s good she ll be awake. We can ( communicate if she feels any discomfort.

If anything goes wrong, we will simply stop the operation.

My opinion?

If there are no big risks, I ll do it.

I can t say there is absolutely zero risk.

But the fact we re at this stage ( means you have the right conditions.

We can deal with any relative situations as they arise.

If you had serious risks, I wouldn t ( sit here with you for this discussion.

I d ask you to go home.

That s as much as I can say.

One on her name and one on the  I agree.

I can t see.

Put one on the  I agree also.

It s ok. It s all part of the process.

Relax. Don t be nervous.

Close your eyes gently. The operation is finished.

Was it painful?


We can barely provide for even our daughter.

Every year we spend hundreds and hundreds on her medicine.

The year before last, we sold one of our animals.

One bottle of pills costs 100 yuan and lasts a week.

Sometimes, that isn t even enough.

The more she takes, the more I worry.

We only have one bottle left to last her till harvest time.

My son is still so young.

You ve taken him to school this time.

Later, I m afraid the teacher won t accept him.

And then, it s going to be harder.

Later, we won t be able to find you again either.

I don t know what to do.

We re going to remove this cloth today.

-Can you see?( -Yes. I can see.

How many fingers here?


After such a big operation, you can hardly see the incision.

It was very successful.

I m so happy she can now see all sorts of things.

I m really happy.

I told Grandma, your eyesight is now better than mine.

You don t have to say anything, just point.

[Department of Orthopaedics]

Can all of us come in?

Yes, please come in.

-What are these?( -X-rays

Is this the artery?

Yes, this one and this one.

The rest are veins.

This is the superficial femoral artery, the ( profound femoral artery and the femoral vein.

Please keep this position and don t move, ok?

If we still don t have enough money, we can ( sell our cows for my daughter s treatment.

How much can you sell the cows for?

About 10,000 yuan.

The doctor said that there is nothing ( wrong with the blood vessels.

The blood vessels should be fine.

You must face reality and still look to a better tomorrow There s a bright side to everything.

If you have hope, everything will work out fine.

We can t do anything on our own.

You ve come to our home and you see how we live, what we eat.

Two meals a day.

We survive on what we grow.

This is our life.

The work I ve been doing

is enabling me to look at life differently.

I m not saying I m smart.

Through hard work, I ve come to a deeper understanding of life.

It s a good thing.

It s an abundance that can t be measured ( on the same level as monetary wealth.

I think what I ve gained is far greater than what I ve given up.

Grandma Yuan received her second cataract operation successfully. With her vision restored, she can now work in the fields once more and has a renewed spirit for life.

Since filming, Dr. Zhang purchased a new home. However, he closed down Huimin Eye Clinic.( He is now part of a major hospital.

Rongrong secured a loan and is attending Ningxia University as an art education major. ( Having rejected local doctors suggestions for amputation, her bone infection persists.

Juncheng s mother abandoned the family. ( Shortly after, Juncheng s sister had an epileptic seizure while walking home from school. As no one was around to help her, she passed away.

Juncheng did not receive a cornea.