Date: 23rd January 2002
The blockbuster BLACK HAWK DOWN (2002) made its premiere on Monday night (21st January 2002) in the very Mogadishu, Somalia, neighbourhood where the 1993 battle took place. A sell-out crowd of 200 swiftly packed the New Buujimo Shineemo (New Boxing Cinema) and waited patiently after a 40-minute delay for the start of the film because the distributor had to copy extra cassettes from the videodisc that had just arrived on a flight from Abu Dhabi.
Khalif Ali Muhammad, the complex's deputy manager, proudly declares, "All the cinemas in town were in competition to get this film. " The flick, which stars Josh Hartnett and EWAN McGREGOR, has been keenly awaited by both Somalis who remember with horror American soldiers scouring and strafing their neighbourhoods, and by Somali warlords whose troops helped bring down the two Black Hawk helicopters on 3 October, 1993, and battled the Americans in the hours and days that followed.