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Courtyard Cinema Sets Scenes for Beijing’s Blind Moviegoers

By Xia Weicong, Liang Yingfei and Yu Bokun
Xiao Huan, born blind, holds back his tears after hearing a volunteer interpreter narrate the film “Together with You” at Xinmu Cinema in Beijing. The boy in the movie, who overcomes many difficulties to learn to play the violin, reminded Xiao that he had been forced to give up his dream to be a singer, he said. Xiao went on to join the choir organized by the Beijing Hong Dandan Education and Culture Exchange Center, which is also responsible for the film screenings. Xiao is now one of the choir’s lead singers. Photo: Liang Yingfei/Caixin
Xiao Huan, born blind, holds back his tears after hearing a volunteer interpreter narrate the film “Together with You” at Xinmu Cinema in Beijing. The boy in the movie, who overcomes many difficulties to learn to play the violin, reminded Xiao that he had been forced to give up his dream to be a singer, he said. Xiao went on to join the choir organized by the Beijing Hong Dandan Education and Culture Exchange Center, which is also responsible for the film screenings. Xiao is now one of the choir’s lead singers. Photo: Liang Yingfei/Caixin

How does a blind person “watch” a movie? Although you can listen to the dialogue, what about the scenes with subtle kisses blown in the wind without any words?

After more than a decade of trial and error, Wang Weili, the founder of an “alternative cinema” in Beijing, has perfected a way that enables thousands of blind moviegoers in China to enjoy classics including Terminator and Jurassic Park.

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