Iraqi cinephile hosts screenings in home cinema

STORY: This film lover is trying to

keep cinema alive in Baghdad

Mohamed Dakhiel has transformed

his home into a cinema hall

where he offers screenings for free

"This is my house, I divided it into two parts, the bigger part is dedicated to the cinema, more than (what is dedicated to) my family. I have a home theatre and a screen. This passion started when I began collecting equipment to offset the shortage created by the closure of cinema halls. As cinema lovers, we used to check movie announcements and go to cinema every two weeks and then it became a daily habit. Cinemas gradually deteriorated due to many reasons, political, economic and social."

Iraq once had 82 cinemas

but they closed one by one

under the rule of Saddam Hussein

when the government controlled

the selection and importation of films

"When I saw tapes sold on street pavements, it was so painful and I didn't have a space to be honest. So I bought what I could buy, and when I ran out of space, I couldn't buy anymore. I have nearly 23 machines (35 mm) and more than 35 machines (16 mm) in addition to hundreds of tapes and thousands of movie posters and sheets."

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