Inside a small cinema in Jakarta, Indonesia, muffled back-and-forth conversation can be heard as movie watchers talk quietly amongst each other.
No – they aren’t being rude. This is a typical night at Bioskop Bisik, a “whisper cinema” designated to help visually impaired people enjoy a movie with the help of volunteers describing the scene.
“I want people to accept that people with disabilities, especially people with visual impairments are part of society,” the mastermind behind the cinema, Cici Suciati, told AJ+.
Screenings are held in the second week of every month at an alternative cafe space that deems itself as a “culinary cinema”. Volunteers are recruited through social media, many of whom help out regularly.
“This is a new and fun way of volunteering. I can give something to others in a way that’s never been done before and I’m able to see differently from their perspective,” Dina, a volunteer, told The Jakarta Post.
While listening to the audio can give visually impaired moviegoers a good idea of what’s going on, it often is not enough to set the provide all the information needed to understand a scene. An out-of-context scream, for example, can be interpreted as one of joy or frustration.
“This helps me a lot in terms of widening my horizons as a visually impaired person who likes movies very much,” said Siswanto of the initiative.
Photo Credits: The Jakarta Post