Once home to many cinema halls, Somalia screens its first film in 30 years. The repercussions of the Civil War in 1991 are still visible in Somalia. But now, one can see a ray of hope as under heavy security on Wednesday the country hosted a movie night.
The National Theatre of Somalia has a long history. It was constructed by Chinese engineers. The theatre is a gift from Mao Zedong, 1967. Unfortunately, in the war days, it was the target of suicide bombers. It was also the base of warlords.
The National Theatre of Somalia has never screened a Somali film
“This is going to be a historic night for the Somali people. It shows how hopes have been revived… after so many years of challenges,” theatre director Abdikadir Abdi Yusuf said before the screening. “It’s a platform that provides an opportunity to… Somali songwriters, storytellers, movie directors, and actors to present their talent openly.”
Two short films by Somali director Ibrahim CM — “Hoos” and “Date from Hell” were on the premiere list. Audiences had to go through several security checks before entering the theatre. It is part of a large complex that houses the presidential palace and the parliament.
While the movie night was nostalgic for some, some had their first-ever theatre experience. Some were happy to visit the theatre. Some were worried about the safety protocols. The historical movie night was a success without any incidents.
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