The PMC is a non-profit initiative that takes films to isolated and threatened communities throughout the West Bank who have no access to cinema. There are currently very few cinemas in operation in the West Bank, and those that do exist are almost impossible for anyone living outside of the main cities to reach, due to restrictions on movement imposed by the occupation, and also expense. Therefore the project was established in February 2008 to face this situation of cultural decline and to provide a regular, accessible opportunity for those in more rural and isolated conditions to watch films. The project transports a mobile screen and projector into communities all over the West Bank and to date has made over 200 screenings in 100 villages and refugee camps.
Given decades of military occupation, lack of rule of law, increasing vulnerability to violence, poverty, limited access to quality basic services, and general hopelessness, cultural expression and appreciation plays a critical role in maintaining the psycho-social health and positive inter-communal relationships among social groups. The Palestinian Mobile Cinema’s aim is to re-institute the practice of watching movies, in order that the cinema will be perceived again as a basic cultural need for the youth and for the Palestinian society as a whole. Indeed, apart from being a valuable means of entertainment, cinema is also an important tool of communication, dialogue and self-reflection.
The mobile cinema activities before, during, and after the screenings are intended to create an opportunity of joy for the community, especially for children, youth and women, who are invited to spend some quality time together and enjoy some fulfilling and meaningful entertainment. Films are Palestinian productions as well as international films, selected with the aim of raising awareness about specific subjects and tackling social and political issues, such as identity, gender, religion, equality and social justice. Introspection and social dialogue is generated on both global issues and local issues affecting the community, encouraging consideration of such closed topics as women and children’s rights, the patriarchal system, and domestic violence.
On average the cinema reaches around 200 direct beneficiaries per month, currently these are bedouin communities living under threatened conditions, however, we are in great need of financial support in order to replace our equipment which is fast wearing-out, and also to expand our geographical coverage. Money is needed to cover the cost of dubbing and subtitling equipment which is essential in order for our audiences to be able to watch a broader range of international films and to increase the quality and atmosphere of our screenings with a light-proof awning and comfortable seating. Additionally we would like to be able to afford the travel expenses of visiting film cast and crew who will come to talk in our post-screening discussions.