The film’s central character, Ian, a spatial orientation instructor, begins work in a clinic which treats blind children from various parts of the world free of charge. He is not a typical instructor. Indeed, his strange mode of walking in heavy hobnailed boots gives him an air of eccentricity, though it is difficult to guess that Ian has no eyes. He refuses to use a white cane, neither in the hospital nor during his evening visits to bars in the town.
Typically, sighted people teach blind people to move around in space. The lessons mainly concern how to use a white cane. Ian - who is himself unusual - runs his lessons using his own methods. He tries not only to activate the senses, but especially to stimulate the curiosity and imaginations of his patients, in order to teach them to live in a world they will never see. clinic’s walls, a trip into ordinary, prosaic reality, such as playing in the courtyard, a walk in the town, or a visit to a café on the corner becomes something like a journey into an unknown universe. A universe which represents a puzzle and a mystery to solve. Is a huge ship really docked in the harbour or is it only a figment of Ian’s imagination, or a clever trick? Are the blind children capable of getting to the truth? What are the boundaries of knowing for them? Ian makes his students aware that faced with the question of what the world is really like, blind people are not actually in a more difficult position than sighted people. In his opinion, finding out of the truth is a challenge for the mind, and the lack of visual stimuli doesn’t represent a fundamental obstacle.
Ian teaches them how to substitute one set of sensory data with another - visual information is replaced by auditory information - and how to use other people’s - even animals’ - senses. His uncompromising stance is characterised by his independence of judgement and refusal to submit to cognitive schema. In addition, he considers every single way of gaining information about one’s surroundings to be valid. He is a master of echolocation, but isn’t worried about carrying around an ultrasound gadget for measuring distances.