10 April '16..
April 8th saw the appearance of an article titled “Gaza cinema a new experience for many with first screenings in 20 years” in the ‘Features’ section of the BBC News website’s Middle East page. Written by Hugo Bachega, the article opens with a very vague explanation of why there have been no working cinemas in the Gaza Strip for many years.Gaza cinema
“It was only when he was 24 that Homam al-Ghussein first went to the cinema. Now, he says, he cannot miss another film.
Why did it take him so long? He lives in Gaza, where cinemas disappeared 20 years ago because of violence.”
Readers then have to plough through a further sixteen paragraphs before they find out what that reference to “violence” means.
“But things were not always like this. Cinemas could be found in Gaza before being destroyed during the first Palestinian uprising in 1987.
Residents say back then, Islamist groups became increasingly hostile to screenings and consequently many of the movie theatres were attacked.
Residents said they were later repaired, but violence took over the territory again years later, this time a result of internal fighting between forces of the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, and the theatres were again destroyed.”
The sabotage of Gaza’s cinemas – along with other branches of the leisure and entertainment industries – by local religiously motivated extremists is obviously the real background to this story. Nevertheless, before they are given that information, readers are led to believe that there is another factor contributing to the absence of film culture in the Gaza Strip.
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