Mobile Cinema Brings Movie Magic To Syria Kurd Children
Muhammad Irfan 30 days ago Fri 23rd August 2019 | 09:00 AM
Sanjaq Saadun, Syria, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 23rd Aug, 2019 ) :In a schoolyard of rural northeastern Syria, boys and girls break out into giggles watching Charlie Chaplin's pranks, a rare treat thanks to a mobile cinema roving through the countryside.
In Kurdish-held areas of the northeast, filmmaker Shero Hinde is screening films in remote villages using just a laptop, projector and a canvas screen.
"We've already shown films in towns but we wanted children in the villages to enjoy them too," said the bespectacled 39-year-old with thick greying curly hair.
With some films dubbed into Kurdish and others subtitled, he and a team of volunteers want to spread their love of cinema across Rojava, the Kurdish name of the semi-autonomous northeast of war-torn Syria.
"Our goal is that in a year's time, there won't be a kid in Rojava who hasn't been to the cinema," the Kurdish filmmaker said.
Sitting on coloured plastic chairs in the village of Sanjaq Saadun just before dusk, the boys and girls watch wide-eyed as the first black-and-white images of "The Kid" appear on screen.
In local minds, cinema is also tied to tragedy, after a fire ripped through a theatre in the nearby town of Amuda in 1960, killing more than 280 children.
"When we were kids, the cinema was that dark place," said the filmmaker, wearing black-rimmed glasses and a green t-shirt.
It was only later that he discovered "the truth and beauty of cinema".
To give today's children a different experience, "we're now trying to substitute that darkness for something beautiful and colourful", he said.
On another evening in the village of Shaghir Bazar, children rushed in before the film started to grab front-row seats.
Among the audience, Amal Ibrahim said her son Kaddar, seven, and daughter Ayleen, six, were brimming with excitement.
"They could hardly wait to come. They've never been to the cinema before," she said in Kurdish.
Even some of the village's older men had turned up to see the cartoon adventure, after not having been to the cinema in decades.
Standing to one side, they reminisced about the films of their youth.
Adnan Jawli, 56, came along with his two children.
"It was such a great feeling when the lights dimmed and the film started." Hinde's own credits include "Stories of Destroyed Cities", a feature-length film about three towns in Syria and Iraq on the road to recovery after Kurdish forces expelled the Islamic State group.
Though Kurdish-led fighters are still battling sleeper cells, Hinde and his team are already looking to the future.
Beyond their roving cinema, they dream of opening a movie theatre at a fixed location.
"But that will depend on the war ending and stability returning to the country," he said.