The First Time, and also the Last Time in My Life

来源:有人杂志   作者:一加一   2015.05.04 15:35  浏览2168
摘要:In this episode of You Ren Talk, let's hear the how the Berlin Film Festival and the media conference appeared to Wang Zhihua’s ‘eyes’.

At the beginning of the New Year, the long-awaited film “Blind Massage” premiered at the Berlin Film Festival. Following the premiere, domestic and foreign media focused their attention on the “Blind Massage” crew in Berlin. In addition to the regular discussion topic of director Lou Ye's “bloody and erotic” films, another main subject of interest for the media was that six of the crew are really blind, and that Lou Ye invited three of them to Berlin. Although “Blind Massage” only won the Silver Bear Award at the Berlin Film Festival, the appearance of the three blind actors attracted the attention of many media outlets. As members of the media with a special focus on the stories of people with disabilities, we interviewed Wang Zhihua, the blind actor who plays Sha Zongqi in Blind Massage. Sha Zongqi is one of the shareholders in the Blind Massage Center. In this episode of You Ren Talk, let's hear the how the Berlin Film Festival and the media conference appeared to Wang Zhihua’s ‘eyes’.

I felt nothing, really, nothing.

You Ren: Please applaud for the super star!

Wang Zhihua: Don't mock me, I am no super star.

You Ren: Among those who are disabled, you are a super star. Tell us, as an old blind man, how did you feel acting in a film for the first time?

Wang Zhihua: I felt nothing.

You Ren: I can describe what my expression is right now. It's awkward.

Wang Zhihua: I am sure that you would like to ask me about the difference between what I felt being in a film and what an actor who is not blind would feel. However, for this, you must first tell me what a man who is not blind would feel when he first plays in a film, and then I will tell you the difference.

You Ren: (Wipes his sweat away) Umm, let me guess. They would be excited and nervous, or maybe they would wonder when they see stars whether to ask for an autograph or to take a picture with them, or whether they would become popular and famous after this role, become a professional actor, put out a CD, perform as a musician at concerts, or marry a rich and beautiful girl.

Wang Zhihua: What do you think? Is all this possible for an old blind man?

You Ren: It seems impossible. But it’s really not easy to have such an opportunity. It's because there is a blind masseuse in the film, which means you can act as who you are. A normal person can play a blind man, but a blind man playing a normal person, it's really… rare to have a film about blind people.

Wang Zhihua: Yes, it is. But anyway, what one feels has nothing to do with the fact I am blind. For example, there are blind people worshipping stars and those who are too excited to go back to their normal life after being hugged by a star. But there are also blind people who feel nothing about stars. For example, I don't care who the star is.

You Ren: That's what you should feel as a man over the age of thirty.

Wang Zhihua: For an old blind man who has never acted in a film, one is more or less nervous the first or even the first few times he acts, and of course the degree of nervousness depends on the individual. I was so nervous at first I even felt my calves’ cramp, sweat and tremble when I first acted, and then later I felt excited. Once I stepped on the stage, especially when the light was on, such remarks as “Applaud loudly,” “Fans, let me hear you,” appeared in my head. I felt excited and had a sense of achievement. I felt that I had conquered the world.

You Ren: Please forgive this old man for his fantasy. Let's get back to our topic. You walked on the red carpet when you went to Berlin. How did you feel? Um, as a man who has walked on the red carpet for the first time, not as a blind man.

Wang Zhihua: Do you want me to tell the truth?

You Ren: Of course.

Wang Zhihua: I also felt nothing.

You Ren: …

Wang Zhihua: Really, I felt nothing. That afternoon, we were in a car going directly to the location. When we arrived, we were told to walk on the red carpet. We were hand in hand and followed others to the waiting area, which should be the wings of the stage. I didn't feel I was stepping on some thick Persian carpet, but more like a wooden floor. I guess to "walk the red carpet" is just a formality, and the carpet is thin. There were so many journalists and people in the audience applauding and cheering. I was too embarrassed to squat down and touch it.

You Ren: This reminds me of a joke.

Wang Zhihua: Let's get to the next topic.

You Ren: We will come back to the joke later. Let's talk about your experience going to the Berlin Film Festival. I saw the press conference online and you were not at the conference. I don't want to drive a wedge between you and the rest of the cast, but how did you feel about this? There were blind actors, but not at the press conference.

There are no rights or wrongs and it is only from different perspectives.

You Ren: Well, it is what it is. You seem to feel ok.

Wang Zhihua: But when the conference went on and on, I felt uneasy and unable to sit still, I wanted to run on the stage to speak.

You Ren: Do you regret not doing that?

Wang Zhihua: I do regret it. But not because of my personal feelings. For myself as an individual, I see no point in going on stage or appearing in the limelight. But, listening to the questions of the journalists and the answers of those on the stage, I gradually realized that may have been my only opportunity, and I should have taken the opportunity to speak in front of the press to show them what a real blind man looks like.

You Ren: It's interesting, a real blind man.

Wang Zhihua: Yes, a real blind man. You have seen the video of the scene, and therefore you should know that I couldn't stand to hear many of the questions and answers, especially those about blind men.

You Ren: For example?

Wang Zhihua: Let's not give examples. It would offend people. It's just that when it comes to blind people, normal people think that blind people look at the world with their hearts, or that people should cherish their happiness more. For blind people, it's gratitude. In fact, from my perspective, I sincerely thank the director for choosing to make a film about blind people and having the guts and courage to use blind actors. From the perspective of blind people, it gives us an opportunity to express ourselves in public. I feel grateful, too. But there is no need for gratitude.

You Ren: yes, thanks and gratitude, (“gan’en” and “ganxie” in Chinese), the difference of only one character in Chinese shows the strength and weakness, or equal and equal.

Wang Zhihua: ha …

You Ren: When you smile like that, I can't help but feel that the interview is about to end. I will continue to ask questions. You have mentioned reality and the self-expression of the blind. What do you think is real blindness?

Wang Zhihua: To call it reality is not true. It's just what I see as a blind man, from my own angle. These are different from what are frequently reported by the press, such as unremitting self-improvement and seizing fate by the throat.

Of course, there is no problem with what the press has reported. I just feel that there are many aspects of being blind that a normal person can't write about. It's incomplete and detached from reality.

First, let me tell you a story about having the courage to live life. Once I went to visit a friend in college, and I intended to take a bus on the way back. I ran into two warm-hearted guys, who insisted on taking me home. Although I tried to dissuade them, they still insisted on taking me to the bus station.

You Ren: There are so many nice people out there. It's good…

Wang Zhihua: Well, it was interesting. At the bus station, once I stepped on the bus, one of them suddenly came forward to pat my shoulder and expressed his earnest wishes with the following remarks: “dude, you should be courageous enough to live your life.”

You Ren: This time I should ha …

Wang Zhihua: You see, this is reality in their minds. A blind man can't walk by himself and he needs help. Well, I admit that we sometimes need help, just as everyone has those times when they need help. But, why would they think that the blind need to be courageous to live their life?

You Ren: This reason is because people don't know much about the blind and disabled. Because we don't know, then we wonder how we could survive if we were blind or disabled. Of course, this is due to reports in the press where they are often show the image of being “powerless” and “miserable.”

Wang Zhihua: That's true. In fact, whether it's blindness or another disability, it's only a difference in which you are living, and there is always a way to resolve things. If you only focus on your disability or exaggerate it, then you will only fear it.

You Ren: If you overcome these problems, then congratulations, you have become the typical person who is determined but disabled physically with unremitting self-improvement. Because other people think "if I were him, I could never do what he can do".

Wang Zhihua: This is reality. In fact, most of the time, we accept what we are now, just like I'm happy with my fatness. We are no big deal, and we are not to be pitied. In fact, we are all ordinary people.

You Ren: I like this metaphor. Many girls often say that if I were fat as that other girl, I wouldn't be able to bear living. This is a kind of ignorance, rejection and discrimination. Because they never give fat people the opportunity to speak, nor would they listen to them, instead they just follow their own misguided thoughts. We should give you a card with “nice person” written on it.

Wang Zhihua: Thank you, but I don't need it. I want to have a lover and get married. In fact, we actors stayed together in Nanjing for almost three months. We all got along well. We drank and chatted and would talk about understanding the blind. Most of the time we just shot the breeze. If you say they don't know more about the blind, that's not true. When I listened to their answers at the press conference, I began to feel it was unbelievable, and wanted to say something. Later, when I calmed down, I thought that when people stand on the stage, facing numerous flashlights from the press, they will easily be brought into that atmosphere. Can you say something is true or false, right or wrong? It can't be judged and should not be.

You Ren: It's the same when we make interviews on the streets. Once we bring up the topic of the disabled, we have no idea how to respond. We feel we must be careful, so those being interviewed use conventional phrases or don’t speak at all.

Wang Zhihua: Therefore, I feel regret, real regret, that I didn't go on stage. I lost a good opportunity to express myself.

You Ren: It's all right. There will be opportunities like this in the future, if you want to speak out. Maybe it's also possible that when one sits on stage, they are stressed and made nervous by the pressure…

Wang Zhihua: Of course, I would not contradict them openly, because there is no point in doing that. I had no opportunity to speak, but I can try my best to help

Tired of Complaining and Can Only Do My Best

You Ren: Yes, you can't easily destroy long-held stereotypes with traditional press reporting. General ignorance of the situation of the disabled, their separation from society, people's unfamiliarity with them, general myths and fantasies about the disabled are all too complicated to easily resolve, and it's a vicious cycle.

Wang Zhihua: In regards to those stereotypes, I was very conscious of them when I organized the art ensemble. If we were willing to accept performing just to make people cry, or to give people the courage to live, we will never run out of work.

You Ren: We call it the "public sentiment of disability appreciation".

Wang Zhihua: Well, it's that. You see, I will not make remarks regarding what the domestic press has reported about me. One the one hand, I was not on stage at the conference, and on the other hand, I'm not a leading actor. My part in the play was cut down significantly, so I am okay with it. However, there is a female who has vision impairment and is partially blind, and she is the leading actress. But when the press reported on the movie, they would all say that there were three blind people. No matter where we are, when it comes to the crew, we three are lumped together. I have heard how the rest of the crew is always mentioned according to what part they play and what their names are, but when they talk about those of us with a vision impairment, they always talk about us as a group despite the fact that we play different parts and are different people. And when one looks at press reports, they all focus on how many challenges the director had to face when working with blind people, and how kind they are to hire blind people. For the chance to act in the movie, I am grateful. And, in fact, the crew was always very respectful. But when all this is written on paper, it starts to sound different and condescending.

You Ren: You have thought about this deeply. We also think that we focused too much on the disabilities of those blind actors and actresses, and blind painters, but have neglected to focus on their achievements. Instead of watching their art, we watch the disability.

Wang Zhihua: It's like what Xiao Duhong suffered in "Blind Massage". Once a blind person stands on stage, whether he or she plays the piano or the Chinese lute or even just fluffs cotton, people would be moved to tears, and then he or she has to go on stage to show gratitude. That is not equal respect of a performer and a person.

You Ren: To put it bluntly, it's an inequality of social status. We all hear about President Roosevelt, but never Disabled President Roosevelt.

Wang Zhihua: Not everyone can be Roosevelt. The majority of us are ordinary.

You Ren: From ordinary people, like you, we have seen what ordinary people can do.

Wang Zhihua: I hope you were praising me this time.

You Ren: Don't be nervous, I am saying, as an ordinary person, you have faced an environment full of inequality. You don't complain, but choose to change. Though you had no opportunity to make remarks, you tried your best to make it right. This is your first time, and I'm sure it won't be the last.

Wang Zhihua: I suddenly feel great.

You Ren: (smirk) Then You Ren magazine is great.

Wang Zhihua: Bah.

You Ren: You're screwed. We decided to finish the joke we didn't tell you before.

You Ren: All dear readers of You Ren magazine, we have prepared a bowl of bone soup before the end of this period's talk. Please be patient and listen…

As a disabled person, you can choose to speak out instead of keeping silent in face of such inequality. The effects of when you have spoken out versus when you haven't seem temporary, but they aren’t in the long term. They will have a different influence on your personal development. Besides, if you continue to speak out, there may be changes. Please remember that it's always useful to make yourself heard, because your words, once heard, will lead to changes.

Where is the applause? Friends over there, let me hear you. Actually, you have all heard the joke I was about to tell. A teacher told female students: I am almost exhausted here, but you didn't move a bit, no feeling, no feelings. Ha, ha, ha. Let's talk next time. Bye bye.

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