Jenin cinema reopens with film of hope

By Jennifer Lipman, August 6, 2010

A cinema has reopened in the West Bank with a launch event celebrating a Palestinian man who donated his son’s organs to Israeli patients.

The Jenin Cinema, which has started showing films again after a 23 year intermission, has both an indoor and outdoor screen, a film library and educational facilities.

The first film shown was a prizewinning documentary called "Heart of Jenin” about Ismail Khatib, the father of a boy killed in 2005 when Israeli soldiers mistook a toy weapon for a real gun.

German director Marcus Vetter’s film follows Mr Khatib’s decision to donate the 11-year-old’s organs.

Mr Vetter said: "We rebuilt the cinema on Ismail's message: there is hope.”

The film was one of several being shown during a three-day film festival to mark the opening of the cinema.

The reopening comes eight years after Jenin saw one of the fiercest battles of the intifada, in which around 80 Israelis and Palestinians were killed.

Mr Khatib said: "I wanted there to be a place where young people could go, a safe place, a normal place."

Last updated: 11:06am, September 6 2010