Jenin cinema set to reopen after 23 years

August 5th, 2010 - 9:21 pm ICT by IANS  

Jenin (West Bank), Aug 5 (DPA) The only cinema in the northern West Bank city of Jenin is set to reopen with a three-day film festival Thursday, after being shut for 23 years.
Cinema Jenin was closed during the first Palestinian uprising against Israel, which broke out in late 1987, and fell into disrepair.

Reconstruction began two years ago, supported and funded by the German government to the tune of $430,000, as well as by private donations from individuals, organisations and companies.

More than 300 volunteers helped refurbish the cinema, and Pink Floyd singer Roger Waters donated a sound system.

The cinema, whose aim is to improve the quality of life in an area where there are few movie houses, can now seat 335 people, and an open area behind the building, which has a cafe and a small pool, also boasts a large open-air screen for about 700 spectators.

Solar cells on the roof of the building guarantee a continuous power supply and hedge against frequent electricity cuts which plague the region.

The film festival will kick off with “Heart of Jenin”, by German director Marcus Vetter, and will also feature the BBC documentary “Deep Blue”, and the Egyptian film “Hassan and Marcus”, starring Omar Sharif.

Jenin, the northern-most West Bank city, was a major focus of violence during both Palestinian uprisings against Israel, and was a frequent target of Israeli military raids.

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