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heart of jenin   cinema jenin
after the silence
The Khatib family lives in the West Bank, in a refugee camp called Jenin. A year ago the Palestinian Ismael Khatib lost his 12-year-old son Ahmed. Ahmed was shot by an Israeli soldier while he was playing “Arabs and Jews” with two friends. The soldier took his toy gun for a real weapon and killed him. Despite his grief, Ismael decided within hours to donate his son's organs to save the lives of four Israeli children.A year has passed since then. Ismael travels from Jenin to the northern hills on the Lebanese border, passing through the Holy City of Jerusalem, down to the edge of the Negev Desert in the south to visit the children who received his son's organs. The Heart of Jenin leads us to Israel, to the occupied territories and to people who have learned to live with the every day conflict and violence and who still haven’t given up their hope of peace.
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  Cinema Jenin follows an ambitious initiative to re-open a previously abandoned cinema in the West Bank city of Jenin. Founded in the 1960s, it was once the largest cinema in Palestine, today it stands as a hollow echo of its society. Re-building the cinema, Germans and Palestinians come together evoking often comedic but always political and cultural ramifacations. Cinema Jenin witnessed an intimate, nuanced and textured view into the city and its domestic affairs as well as the journey of a dedicated, loyal, often conflicted group of people who hope that the re-building of the cinema will be a bridge to peace, freedom and Palestinian self-empowerment. Watch on VOD Jetzt auf VOD ansehen   Two young German film makers go to Palestine where, together with Manal,a Palestinian student from Jenin, they try to find out what really happened on March 31 2002: Shadi Tobassi, a suicide bomber from Jenin, blew himself up in the Arab-owned Matza Restaurant in Haifa, killing 15 people.
Among those killed was Dov Chernobroda, an Israeli architect, who for his entire life had tried to bring about a peaceful settlement between Israel and Palestine. Eight years later his wife Yael would like to visit the family of the suicide bomber in Jenin. Yaël will go to Jenin in peace to break down the wall of silence.
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cinema jenin guesthouse   Visit the city of Jenin – Our Cinema Jenin Guesthouse is still open.

Enjoy our guesthouse and hostel in the heart of the town Jenin. Enjoy comfortable accommodation in a unique city that hasn’t yet been spoiled by mass tourism. In our beautyful guesthouse we welcome everybody who wants to visit the Westbank. We also invite volunteers and supporters from around the world to stay and work with us on the project. The guesthouse is situated next door to the Cinema and offers five spacious eight-bed rooms and two double rooms.

Cinema Jenin Guesthouse | Ayman Nasri (Guesthouse Manager)
Azzaytoon Street No. 1 (bus station city center) |Jenin | Palestine
Fon: +970 (0) 42502455 | guesthouse(at)
Dear friends and supporters of Cinema Jenin,

Several news articles in the last few weeks have already reported on the end of Cinema Jenin. Now, after several weeks of negotiations, we sadly have to officially confirm that Cinema Jenin is closing its doors forever.
Recently, the original owners of Cinema Jenin decided to sell the cinema to an investor planning to tear down the cinema and replace it with a new shopping mall.
Cinema Jenin developed serious financial problems in 2014. After supplying extremely generous financial support for 5 years, the Protestant church in Frankfurt had to sponsor a different project. To raise funds for Cinema Jenin, we then organized a benefit tour with the film CINEMA JENIN through Germany, Switzerland, Austria and Liechtenstein. Unfortunately, the outcome was very limited. At the same time, our 8-year contract expired, and the owners announced a substantial rent increase, much more than Cinema Jenin could afford. As a result, the owners decided to sell.
  Dr. Lamei, who had been in charge since the reopening of Cinema Jenin in 2010, did everything possible to prevent this from happening. He contacted the ministry of culture, he spoke with the Palestinian Authority, and he met with the governor of Jenin, but all was in vain.
When I received the news from Dr. Lamei that the cinema owners were planning to sell Cinema Jenin, I immediately notified the German Foreign Ministry and asked for their assistance in this difficult situation. They conferred with the Palestinian Ambassador to Germany and also approached the German Representative Office in Ramallah about proposing to the Palestinian Authority that they buy the cinema. In the end, no one stepped in to help save the cinema.
Seeing the bulldozers destroying the hard work which hundreds of volunteers and friends gave to Jenin in order to rebuild and refurbish this abandoned ruin was a very sad and painful moment. A number of dreams were destroyed, including the dream inspiring Dr. Lamei, whose father built and once ran the cinema.
  But the project Cinema Jenin was not for nothing. Many friendships and relationships developed through this project. All of these friendships between people, who otherwise never would have met, will last.

Thank you to all of our friends and everyone who helped to create this unique cultural space.

Thank you to all of the people, institutions, and companies, who supported the cinema for years.

Thank you to everyone who believed in this dream – even though it only lasted so briefly....

The guesthouse will continue to exist. Much of the cinema equipment will go to the Freedom Theatre to create a smaller cinema venue there. That way at least a part of Cinema Jenin will survive and will be under the management of the Freedom Theatre, an ongoing and vivid cultural venue in Jenin.

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