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Volunteers narrate films for the sightless in "Cinema for the Eyes of Soul"

05-04-2012 17:26 BJT

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The picture show has been a favorite form of entertainment for about a century. It all began with silent films. These days, movies like "Avatar" are presented in IMAX 3-D with a computer-generated reality that is seamlessly merged with real life. For the blind, these technical achievements have been meaningless.

A film remakes a natural disaster. The story tells the triumph of humanity and family. Each audience is brought to tears. But, now close you eyes and just listen to it.

The seed of brightness is being planted in more hearts as more "Cinemas for the Eyes of
Soul" have been set up in a dozen major cities around China.

This is how the blind experience a film. But someone is determined to enrich that experience. He wants to be the eyes for those who live in a world of darkness. His name is Wang Dawei.

Narrating films to the blind is not that simple. It requires a careful preparation to speak at just the right moment, fitting the lines in the space between the original dialogues. The narrator works as a painter to draw pictures with words.

With die-hard support from his book-keeping wife, Wang has rented a few small and humble rooms at an old courtyard in downtown Beijing. Since 2004, the couple has provided this cinema for the sightless.

The seed of brightness is being planted in more hearts as more "Cinemas for the Eyes of
Soul" have been set up in a dozen major cities around China.

Yang Linshan, audience, said, "The film “Aftershock” is a hot topic these days, so we asked Mr.Wang to narrate this film for us. It’s tear-jerking. Very touching. Compared to those lost their lives in the earthquakes, we are lucky. It encouraged me a lot to cherish life."

Zhang Hui, audience, said, "I’m an orphan abandoned by my parents, so I could understand the feelings of these orphans left by the earthquakes. My husband and I donated one thousand yuan to the survivors of the 2008 Wenchuan earthquake."

Wang also invited earthquake experts to talk with his special audience. They explained how to react when an earthquake happens and answered questions. To fill in some of the information gaps, they also brought along a set of professional earthquake testing machine for the blind to touch.

Occasionally, bad whether will create travel difficulties for the sight impaired, but it doesn’t stop the enthusiasm of the volunteers who want to help them.

When no one comes, for instance, in such a big rain, the usual narration of a film for the blind will turn into an occasion for the volunteers to receive additional training. These young visitors from Japan and their Chinese counterparts were invited to experience the darkness for themselves.


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