Nostalgia of Cinema - The National Cinema

A documentary about the National Cinema in Old Sana'a where 7 Yemenis were nostalgically speaking about how they experienced their golden days.

Yemen had more than 55 cinemas in all governorates and even in villages, but they have been closed to and abandoned after the civil war in 1994.

However, the National Cinema in the old city of Sana'a has been stagnant since its establishment in 1963, and it shows on a daily basis films and football matches, despite its need for restoration and modernization, and it is the only cinema in Yemen that opens its doors to the public.

Here we highlight people who lived through its glory and longed for its days, despite the war in Yemen.

  • Mohammed Yahya Almahdi
  • Sami Abdullah Al-Safani
  • Mohammed Yahya Almahdi
  • Sami Abdullah Al-Safani
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    نوستالجيا سينمائية - السينما الأهلية بصنعاء
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 55 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    November 29, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    28,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
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  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Mohammed Yahya Almahdi, Sami Abdullah Al-Safani

I was born and raised in Old Sana'a, Yemen where my family, friends, and neighbours calling me "Alien". Working as a journalist, filmmaker and chairman of Shift Foundation where I lead a motivated team of volunteers to screen Yemeni and international films, open to the public for free in educational and cultural places such as schools, universities, NGOs, Cafés and companies for women, kids, youth and society with the purpose of creating outlets & spaces for peacebuilding through film and open exchange of ideas. It is one of the leading institutions in the field of Yemeni cinema and its impact can be seen and felt across its large-scale audience.

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Director Statement

This is my first documentary as a director & producer with my partner Sami Al-Safani where are trying to highlight the cinema of Yemen situation by nostalgic statements from people who experienced such industry and places long time ago.

Despite the conflict in Yemen, this film represents the golden days of culture and art that Yemenis were practiciting before the closure of cinema theatres after the civil war of 1994. The heroic of this documentary is the National Cinema is the only cinema in the whole Yemen which is located in Old Sana'a and has still opened its doors for the viewers since 1963.