Gaza gets its first proper cinema in three decades

Several hundred Gazans will be able to go to the cinema on Saturday for the first time in more than 30 years, albeit for one night only.

The Samer Cinema in Gaza City, the oldest in the strip but closed for decades, will host a special screening of a film about Palestinians in Israeli prisons, news agency Agence France-Presse (AFP) reported.

Two million people live in cramped conditions under an Israeli blockade in Gaza, often described as the world’s largest open prison .

Ghada Salmi, an organizer, told AFP the one-night showing was “symbolic” of wider efforts “to bring back the idea of cinema to Gaza.”

Saturday’s film, “10 Years,” tells the story of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Salmi said it does not focus on the wider politics, instead telling a human story.

The showing has the approval of Hamas.

In May, a rare festival showcased films focusing on human rights issues. Those screenings took place outdoors at Gaza City’s port.

Other films have occasionally been shown in rented halls.

Gaza is still recovering from the last of three wars with Israel in 2014, when more than 2,000 Palestinians were killed and much of the strip was devastated.


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