Cinema Jenin

Cinema Jenin: The Story of A Dream

The city of Jenin, home to one of Palestine’s many refugee camps, is now dubbed, ‘the capital of martyrs.’  Where is the place of cinema in a city occupied, poverty-stricken and the target of unrelenting invasions, arrests and shootings by Israeli occupation forces?

Founded in the 1960s, Cinema Jenin was once the largest in the Palestinian territories, showcasing cinema from around the world.  But since the First Intifada in the 80s, the cinema has deteriorated and is now barely standing.  The city of Jenin, home to one of Palestine’s many refugee camps, is now dubbed, ‘the capital of martyrs.’  Where is the place of cinema in a city occupied, poverty-stricken and the target of unrelenting invasions, arrests and shootings by Israeli occupation forces?  This question plagues the wishful attempts of Jenin local Ismael Khatib, with the help of euro-backed German filmmaker Marcus Vetter, to resurrect the fallen cinema.  Confronted with suspicion, skepticism and accusations of trying to normalize life under the occupation, Khatib and Vetter begin to understand that even recreation is political in brutal times.

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