Indonesia's Whisper Cinema brings movies to the blind

Ms Cici Suciati (right), the organiser of volunteer whisperers, describing the scene of a movie to Ms Cicii, who is visually-impaired. They were at a special screening with other whisperers and visually impaired patrons at a small cinema located in a
Ms Cici Suciati (right), the organiser of volunteer whisperers, describing the scene of a movie to Ms Cicii, who is visually-impaired. They were at a special screening with other whisperers and visually impaired patrons at a small cinema located in a cafe in Jakarta on Oct 9, 2016.PHOTO: REUTERS

JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Mr Siswanto was born blind, but is now a regular at the movies since 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 does not 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 likes 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 Ms Cici Suciati, was born in January 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 help 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.