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Thursday July 29, 2010 6:44 PM (EST+7)
A boy's death brings Jenin cinema back to life

Read more: Jenin, Heart of Jenin, Palestinian cinema, film, Israeli film, Ahmed Khatib

RAMALLAH, July 29 (JMCC) - In 2005, 11-year old Ahmed Khatib was killed by Israeli soldiers in the streets of Jenin. In an extraordinary gesture, Khatib's father donated his son's organs to six Israelis. The story was documented in a film, which eventually led to the reestablishment of Jenin's only cinema.

The film follows Ismael as he visits the families of children who received Ahmed's organs, including an Orthodox Jewish family.

Heart of Jenin has won numerous awards, including the German Film Award for Best Documentary, but Vetter realized there was nowhere to show the film in Jenin itself, because the city's only cinema was closed in 1987 during the first intifada.

Vetter and Khatib were inspired to set about renovating Jenin's long-abandoned cinema.

A city with 70,000 people without a cinema is sad -- there's nothing you can do and nowhere to go, Vetter told CNN.

I decided to stop making documentaries for a year and try to establish the cinema.

We wanted to get the Jenin youth involved and give them a vision to believe in, something to aim for.

Khatib said he hoped the cinema would help keep Jenin's youngsters off the streets and out of danger.

The people who go into Cinema Jenin will be Ahmed's friends, who are now 17 years old, he told CNN.

Because Ahmed fell in the street it's a good place to bring together Ahmed's friends -- a safer place for them to get together, rather than being on the street.

Jenin lacks these kinds of places and it needs them. It will give them a normal place to get together and lessen the amount of trouble during times like that.

Drawing on his connections in the movie business, Vetter convinced European sound engineers and cameramen to volunteer their time and technical expertise to help the project. But they had their work cut out for them...

Read the whole story at CNN...






Al-Madaris St. (same building as
MBC and al-Arabiya studios)
First Floor, Al-Bireh
PO Box 4045, Ramallah
PO Box 25047, Jerusalem 97300
Phone: ++972-2-297-6555
Fax: ++972-2-297-6555
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