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Regional Premiere - Part of the Pittsburgh International Festival of Firsts
Blind Cinema by Britt Hatzius
In the darkness of a movie theater, the audience members sit blindfolded and behind each row is a row of children. In hushed voices, these children describe a film only they can see. Accompanied by the film’s dialogue-free soundtrack, the whispered descriptions are a fragile, fragmentary, sometimes struggling, courageous attempt by the children to make sense of what they see projected on the screen.
Based on the method of audio description, Blind Cinema is an experience where the act of watching a film becomes a shared investment: a collaborative and imaginative act between seeing children and blinded adults. As adults recall their own experiences of trying to find the right words, they newly value that struggle to articulate in order to share experiences. Blind Cinema seeks to discover language’s potential and limits.
The film screened during the performance will be seen by each group of children for the first time. Hence, each performance will have a unique group of describing children between the ages of 9 and 11, whose experience was preceded by a workshop.