A German filmmaker tries to breathe new life into an old ramshackle cinema in Jenin with the help of the local population. Complex cultural relationships and the awkward political situation more than once stand in the way of success.
When director Marcus Vetter goes to Jenin in the Palestinian territories in 2007 for a story about Ismael, whose son was shot by an Israeli sniper, he discovers that the city once boasted a cinema where people lined up to watch local and international films. Vetter, Ismael and a few locals come up with the idea of renovating and breathing new life into the old cinema and creating a social and cultural meeting place. It turns out to be a painstaking process in which Vetter has to face complex cultural relationships and sentiment. Although the new cinema is supposed to welcome everyone, the reactions to its renovation reveal the awkward relationship between Palestine and Israel. The word ‘peace’ takes on a charged connotation, and the initiators have to make sure that the social project doesn’t turn into a political one. These crucial problems need to be solved with the help of a few big names, lots of volunteers, and even more cigarettes.