The opening of a cinema for the blind in Beijing
Beijing recently witnessed the opening of a cinema for the blind, in a move that would help the blind and visually impaired enjoy movies.
Blind or visually impaired people are guided by their white sticks to sit on cinema couches in Old Beijing and “watch” films enthusiastically told by volunteers.
Dozens of blind and visually impaired people attend these free shows today.
The narrator in the hall, equipped with a microphone, describes what is happening on the screen, such as the characters’ facial expressions, their gestures, their clothes, and even the weather.
It also explains in detail the visual elements necessary to understand the film, such as the transition from the scene of falling leaves to the scene of snowfall as an expression of the change of seasons.
Zhang Zhicheng, 51, does not miss any of these weekly shows, as he takes the subway train every Saturday, for a two-hour trip to be able to participate in it, using his stick and the GPS application that determines his walking directions, and after he lost his sight At the age of twenty due to a degenerative disease, he rediscovered his love for cinema thanks to the Zenmo (Vision of the Mind) club and a small group of volunteers.
He recounts: “It was the first time I heard an audio description of a film, and it was like a new world opened up for me.”
He adds, “I felt that I was able to understand the plot despite my blindness. Clear images formed in my mind.”
“Writer. Communicator. Award-winning food junkie. Internet ninja. Incurable bacon fanatic.”