A large number of people had gathered for the open air cinema where ‘The Mobile Cinema’ documentary premièred. The event also marked the launch of the Mobile Cinema Foundation. The screening was meant to share the experience of organizing open air screenings using the Mobile Cinema concept in the Democratic Republic of Congo with the public here in the Netherlands.
The atmosphere at het Spuiplein was cozy, as fire baskets lit up the square and orange blankets were handed out to the audience to counter the chilly March evening temperatures. If it wasn’t for the cold, the event nearly resembled a screening of the Mobile Cinema in Congo.
Taco Ruighaver, the director of the Movies that Matter film festival introduced the screening and stated that bringing films back to the communities where they were produced is a trend that can increasingly be observed in the film world. “The Mobile Cinema Foundation takes on an innovative approach to reflect, share and discuss on the basis of images, which will eventually be moving people into action”.
After the screening, Mrs Margriet Leemkuil, Ambassador for International Cultural Cooperation, Mrs Kathleen Ferrier, member of parliament for the CDA, and Mrs Wassila Hachchi, member of parliament for D66 were invited at the stage to react on the screening.
All three were equally impressed. “The Mobile Cinema Foundation makes awareness raising on sexual violence and the position of women very concrete and practical”, said Mrs Leemkuil. Even though the position of the Netherlands vis-à-vis development cooperation in Congo is currently being reconsidered, “the Dutch government will continue support projects that focus on human security and women’s rights”, she added.
Mrs Wassila Hachchi (D66) was impressed by the Mobile Cinema project featured in the documentary. What struck her most were the reactions of Congolese men after having seen the film. “Their perceptions on women show that the process of change is long and it confirms my conviction that women – wherever they are in the world – are the motor for development”.
Mrs Kathleen Ferrier (CDA) who traveled to Congo several times, is familiar with the difficulties of working in the Congolese context and the security challenges that lie ahead for the country. She was pleased to learn that the Mobile Cinema Foundation is currently setting up a Mobile Cinema project for the Congolese army. “Interventions in the security sector, to assure stability and human protection, are a priority for the Dutch government. Therefore it is very important that the military are trained, not only in the context of multilateral and UN agencies, but also through projects like these”.
Mrs Wassila Hachchi (D66) Mrs Kathleen Ferrier (CDA)
The Mobile Cinema Foundation is looking back to an interesting premiere and successful launch of the Foundation. Also, it was rewarding that Mrs Leemkuil, Hachchi and Ferrier accepted to be present and participate in the debate. Linking the audience with politicians through this special Mobile Cinema in the Netherlands, underlines a commitment to Congo and is an acknowledgment for the Congolese people that have put a lot of effort in making the Mobile Cinema projects to a success.