04.12.2013

    CINEMA PARADISO!

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BY VETON NURKOLLARI

Autobiographical scene No.1

School. Spring of 1975. Rumor spread quickly that we are being taken to see a film in the cinema. Joy in the classroom. Still remember the sense of excitement on the way to what was then a cult venue called Kino Bistrica. A strange smell inside. Wooden chairs. A giant screen. Darkness. A movie about partisans. It must have been Sutjeska!

Autobiographical scene No.2

School again. Late afternoon. Someone mentioned that a guy with a cigarette is in town. Reason enough to head to another cult venue of Prizren called Kino Radnik. The place looked like something out of a Western movie — and oddly enough, it screened many Westerns. Including the one that got me hooked on them. “The Good, The Bad and The Ugly”. The name of the guy with the cigarette was Clint Eastwood. Not to mention Sergio Leone, and what came after…

Autobiographical scene No.3

Radnik again. Finally sneaked inside with a friend. Full house. Scary movie. Still remember the voice of Max von Sydow. The Exorcist. Then someone fainted in a row in front of us. Our teacher. Laughter. So grown-up, we felt.

Autobiographical scene No.4

Prizren, early ‘80s. Hot summer night. Through a door, we enter a garden. Wooden chairs again, but you don’t mind. Your girlfriend is with you. A chance for a two-hour hug. Catherine Denevue and David Bowie on a screen. Peter Murphy singing from a cage. Tony Scott film called The Hunger. Never before has a vampire film looked so beautiful.

Then came the ‘90s, and everything went wrong. Roof of Radnik collapsed, and the whole building slowly surrendered to the forces of nature. Bistrica closed its doors in ;99. Once a city with two cinemas and three screens, Prizren saw the rise of its own film festival before the triumphant return of the cinema today. In its full glory, and on the same ground where Kino Radnik once stood.

by: Kosovo 2.0