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Indonesia's "Whisper Cinema" brings movies to the blind

Wednesday, October 12, 2016 - 14:05
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Siswanto was born blind, but is now a regular at the movies since the "Whisper Cinema", a small, free monthly club aimed at bringing the silver screen to Indonesia's visually-impaired started last year.

[JAKARTA] Siswanto was born blind, but is now a regular at the movies since the "Whisper Cinema", a small, free monthly club aimed at bringing the silver screen to Indonesia's visually-impaired started last year.

A volunteer helps Mr Siswanto, a 43-year-old masseur who doesn't like horror movies, to his seat and as the lights dim, his personal commentator starts describing each scene to him.

"This helps me a lot in terms of widening my horizons as a visually-impaired person who like movies very much," Mr Siswanto said after the latest viewing of Laskar Pemimpi, or The Troops of Dreamers in English.

"Whisper Cinema", the brainchild of Cici Suciati, was born in Jan 2015 after users of her mobile apps for the blind said they wanted to go to the cinema.

Ms Suciati puts most of the local films on at the same 50-seat cinema in the Indonesian capital, with volunteers signing up to commentate on social media.

"I want people to accept that the disabled people, especially people with visual impairment are part of the members of society in the world," Ms Suciati said.

REUTERS