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Eyes of blinds: Man presents movies for blind audience
February 11,2019   By:Xinhua
TIANJIN, Feb. 11, 2019 -- While many Chinese are going to movies during the week-long Spring Festival holiday for fun, in a cinema in northern China's Tianjin Municipality, Zheng Wei explained the film "The Spring Festival" for a group of blind audience.
 
"Fireworks light up the dark on New Year's Eve. Children are playing in an open place covered with white snow," Zheng described the visual elements of the movie, holding a microphone and a script.
 
As the founder of a "cinema for the blind" in Tianjin, Zheng, 55, has insisted on brightening the dark world of the visually impaired people in his own way for 11 years.
 
Shao Yuxiang and her husband, a blind couple, are regular visitors to the cinema. She wears an elegant yellow sweater to attend the significant "movie day" for them.
 
Since October 2007, the free audio-described movie starts at 9:30 a.m. on the third Saturday of each month. There have been over 150 movies screened to more than 20,000 blind visitors so far.
 
"The theater is equipped with lights, a sound system, projector and big screen to give the blind a complete and equal movie experience to others," Zheng said.
 
In 2007, having learned that a "cinema for the blind" established by Wang Weili had benefited many blinds in Beijing, Zheng immediately rushed to Wang's establishment for advice.
 
Under Wang's guidance, Zheng built a new cinema in Tianjin and screened "The Dream Factory" by famous Chinese director Feng Xiaogang, which attracted over 50 blinds from different districts and even suburban areas in Tianjin.
 
Movie selection is always a serious thing for Zheng. Zheng usually chooses Mandarin-language movies with positive themes to reflect modern society.
 
Special movies for certain Chinese Festivals is also one of Zheng's selecting principals. "For example, 'The Founding of a Republic' is specialized for the National Day. Now films for Spring Festival are on my agenda," Zheng said.
 
To ensure the quality of the blind movie-goers' experience, Zheng has to prepare and practice in advance. Zheng would draw "role relationship maps" to fully understand the film. Then, he may edit the movie and recombine some plots.
 
"Some movie's plots have many twists and turns, which are presented through pictures, but blind people would have no clue what is going on," Zheng explained. Adding the scenes, costumes, actions or even emotions on the actors' faces into the audio description will help the blind understand the story.
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