24th November 2017
Volunteer narrates flicks so the visually impaired can feel the action
For a lucky few non-sighted people in Beijing, Saturday is film day in a courtyard cinema in Xicheng district.
The cinema, opened by Wang Weili, a Beijing local, 12 years ago, is China’s first cinema for blind people, according to media reports. Instead of forbidding people from speaking during screening, it requires someone to speak very loudly.
Most often it’s Wang in his 50s, doing the talking. He acts as a narrator to “depict” the films through a loudspeaker for the visually impaired audience. The cinema, named Xinmu (literally meaning to see through the heart), is a way to “let blind people immerse into society as robust people,” said Wang.
Statistics show that there are more than 6 million blind people in China. A great many of them reportedly live far outside mainstream society. A lack of basic amenities keeps them shut-in.
At his cinema, Wang provides a platform where his audience can enjoy the pleasures of visual arts and the films give them a greater understanding of society.
“I feel my efforts pay off when the films successfully resonate with the audiences. Films can bring them awareness of emotions and life,” he told “Talk to Her”, an interview program.