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Dhaka Tribune

Mobile cinema brings movie magic to Syria Kurd children

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

Update : 20 Aug 2019, 08:33 PM

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.

Lively piano music rings out across the school basketball court, as Chaplin plays a tramp who rescues an orphaned baby in the 1921 silent movie.

Laughter rises above the darkened playground as he tries to clean the baby’s nose or to feed him from a kettle strung from the ceiling.

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