GermaniumThe Eye Clinic

Film information

The Element

  • Ge
  • Germanium
  • Atomic No.32
  • Atomic Mass72.61000
  • Market Priceapprox $1240/kg

Germanium is used as a lens coating for surgical microscopes used in cataract surgery.

Its optical properties help to accurately focus the different wavelengths of light passing through the lens.

Making the Film

  • LanguageHindi with English subtitles
  • Running time5:10 minutes

This is quite a different film to the one I had imagined while filming. The original film followed Mamman, who you see getting the rather painful looking anesthetic injection. We met her at the eye clinic with a couple of her friends who were also going to have the free cataract surgery offered by the Venu Eye Institute, and we thought that the interactions and discussions between the 3 of them would produce some nice results for a fairly linear film following them through the process of surgery.

On our final day at the hospital we were chatting to some of the other patients in the recovery ward when my production assistant Ankita drew my attention to Hari, the man who now provides the voice over to the film. We were struck by the way he spoke with a kind of natural poetry and we conducted an audio only interview with him on the spot, without really knowing how it might be used. It was only in the edit that his thoughts on sight, old age and memory emerged as a guide for a looser and more playful film than I had originally intended.

Mike Paterson

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The Filmmaker

Mike Paterson is the director of the 94 Elements project. He has a background in film and broadcast fiction production before leaving TV to work as a teacher and journalist in various parts of the world. Returning to documentary production, he established PFILM to explore new opportunities for documentary on the web and across different platforms. His previous project, Colliding Particles, follows a team of physicists hunting for the Higgs particle at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Switzerland. Mike is based in London in the UK.