‘Sight’ Review: An Eye Doctor’s (Inner) Journey From China

Ming Wang, the real-life physician whose biography is the basis for this fictional feature, is a Nashville-based ophthalmologist whose degree in laser physics has presumably been a boon in his work restoring sight to visually impaired patients, many of whom are children.

As is the custom with inspirational medical movies, however, the new film “Sight,” directed by Andrew Hyatt, leans hard into uplift — it provides only the narrative-necessary minimum of the science. Wang’s achievement in developing innovative technology is central to one of the stories here, yes. But the dominating narrative is one of personal growth.

Weaving several decades’ worth of flashbacks into its action, otherwise set in 2006, the movie shows Wang’s traumatic childhood in Hangzhou, China, where he and his friend Lili are terrorized by the Cultural Revolution’s Red Guard. He wants to be a doctor like his father, who tells him his best “chance” in life is to “become a musician.” You don’t hear that too often.

Brilliant at school, Wang is able to make his way to M.I.T., but even in the elite educational environments he passes through, he’s discouraged from pursuing his dreams of becoming a physician. These trials leave Wang with a defensive ego and a tendency to shut out others emotionally. He’s forced to deal with failure and to learn to trust.

All of this is laid out in competent commonplace fashion, with the principal actors Terry Chen, Greg Kinnear and the always welcome Fionnula Flanagan displaying the expected professionalism.

Wang has written a memoir in which he discusses his Christian faith in some detail. The film proper does not. But the faith-friendly distributor, Angel Films, has appended to the feature a “Pay It Forward” coda (similar to that on their 2023 release “Sound of Freedom”) in which the real Wang testifies to his spirituality.

Sight
Rated PG-13 for thematic material, mild violence. Running time: 1 hour 40 minutes. In theaters.

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