Tower Hamlets’ new community pop-up cinema kicks off on Friday night with Lebanese film Tramontane
The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema installs itself at Oxford House in Bethnal Green, East London, for its debut screening this Friday, 6 October 2017. On show will be newly released Tramontane, an award-wining feature film set in Lebanon about a young blind singer who tries to discover who he really is after inadvertently learning he was given a fake identity as a child. The screening is open to everyone and is free of charge.
Friday’s movie starts at 7pm, with a short talk about the film and The Hamlets project at 6.45pm. Doors to the theatre at the Grade II listed Oxford House, which overlooks Weaver’s Fields and is a short walk from Bethnal Green tube station, open at 6pm. Capacity for the cinema is limited – just 120 seats – and while some tickets will be available at the door, advance registration will guarantee entry. You can book for free on Eventbrite.
Tramontane premiered in the International Critics' Week section of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival where it was awarded the Grand Rail d'Or Audience Award. Directed by Lebanese film-maker Vatche Boulghourjian, it stars blind actor and musician Barakat Jabbour, who plays Rabih, a young man from a small village in Lebanon. Rabih sings in a choir and edits Braille documents for a living, but his life unravels when he tries to apply for a passport to go on tour, only to be told by the authorities that his identification card, which he has carried his entire life, is a forgery.
This intimate tale takes Rabih across rural Lebanon as he seeks out his true identity, meeting others whose web of lies about his background reflect the wider trauma of a nation still unable to come to terms with its long and brutal civil war. See the trailer here.
This stirring drama forms the first screening of The Hamlets Pop-Up Cinema. This innovative project, which also includes free training for local people on how to run their own community cinema, will travel to diverse venues in town centres across the borough, including those on Roman Road West, Watney Market, and Brick Lane throughout the autumn and winter. The pop-up screenings are open to local and non-borough residents alike, who will be able to watch a selection of movies from around the world that reflect the borough’s diversity.
The project is being managed by film charity Balik Arts and funded by Tower Hamlets Council as part of its Thriving High Streets programme.