RAMALLAH, July 29 (JMCC) - In 2005,
11-year old Ahmed Khatib was killed by Israeli soldiers in the streets
. 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.Read
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
the whole story at CNN...