Home / Special Report/ Across China: ’’Cinema for the blind’’ brightens lives of disabled in China

Across China: ’’Cinema for the blind’’ brightens lives of disabled in China

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Friday, 9 February 2018 00:00

WUHAN,  (Xinhua) -- In a theater in Jiangjiadun Residential District, Du Chengcheng carefully tells the story of a successful businessman and a migrant worker's journey during China's Spring Festival travel frenzy. The story comes from the 2010 hit Chinese comedy film "Lost on Journey," which grossed more than 30 million yuan (4.7 million dollars) at the box office. Rather than showing the film on the big screen, she recounts the plot to an audience of visually impaired people.

Du, 32, is a volunteer for the disabled in the district in Wuhan City, capital of central China's Hubei Province. She started presenting films to blind people in 2010, when the local federation for the disabled built a "cinema for the blind" in her district.

"When I saw the visually impaired people laugh or cry because of the film stories I tell them, I feel very emotional," she said.

 Chinese cinema has seen rapid growth of more than 30% a year, particularly in major cities such as Beijing and Shanghai, Zeng Maojun, president of Wanda Pictures, said in December. Box office earnings in the country leapt from 860 million yuan in 2002 to 10 billion yuan in 2010.

 Last year, the country's box office revenue rose 13.45% to more than 55.9 billion yuan, with domestic films contributing 53.84%, according to the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television.

China has over 444,000 movie screens, more than North America. But it is hard for blind people to fully enjoy movies, so Du tries to explain the film plots as vividly as possible. "When I first joined the cinema, I did not know what to do," she said. "So I just closed my eyes and imagined what I would want to hear if I were blind." Du knows which parts of the plots to emphasize, and how to keep the audience engaged.

"Sometimes the script for a one-minute scene can take more than an hour to write," she said. To make the story more engaging, Du said she often watches a film more than 20 times. China has more than 85 million disabled people. The number is expected to exceed 160 million by 2050, according to China Disabled Persons' Federation in 2013. Of the disabled, about 6 million are visually impaired. China has been striving to improve the lives of blind people, from medical treatment and employment to enriching their lives through culture.

Du is disabled herself. Born with congenital neurofibroma, she was unable to run as freely as her peers. In 2009, Du underwent amputation, leaving her with just one leg and a reliance on crutches. But Du did not shatter from the big blow. Instead, she poured her heart into charity work.

So far, Du has brought "film experiences" to more than 7,000 blind people in the locality over the past 8 years. In Wuhan, Du has trained more than 100 volunteers like her to "tell films" to blind people, earning her the nickname "angel giving out brightness." "My visually impaired friends often tell me that they are willing to be my leg, and I just tell them that I am their eyes," Du said. "I hope my film-telling can be a light guiding them in this beautiful world."

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Greening China and BRI: Chinese legal framework for sustainable environment protection

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

The concept and scope of greening the belt and road The Greening BRI is to add the ‘greening’ notion along with the ‘BRI’. Building a ‘Greening BRI’ means adhering to the concept of green development, balanced development, harmony betwee

Political evil paralysing Parliament

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Our politics has arrived at a point when we must insist on recognising the niceties of human nastiness. Organised horror in Parliament is either trivialised or ignored by most of mainstream media print and electronic.

10 theses on Sri Lanka’s existential crisis: Roots, dynamics, dimensions

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

1.The crisis has deep national, social and psychological roots. Our island contains two consciousnesses or two types of consciousness, two competing states of mind. Contrary to myth, the periphery of our island has the longest uninterrupted colonial

Make toilets and safe sanitation services accessible to all

Tuesday, 20 November 2018

All people everywhere should have access to safe sanitation services, including hygienic toilets that are connected to quality sewage systems. For many people across the WHO South-East Asia Region, as across the world, access to these services never

Columnists More