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Kudistan-Kurdistan has its Metro-NY/NJ Premiere at the 2016 New Jersey International Film Festival on Sunday, June 12!


By Al Nigrin

originally published: 10/24/2016

Kudistan-Kurdistan  has its Metro-NY/NJ Premiere at the 2016  New Jersey International Film Festival on Sunday, June 12!

Kudistan-Kurdistan has its Metro-NY/NJ Premiere at the 2016  New Jersey International Film Festival on Sunday, June 12!

Here is the 2nd part of a 2-part interview with Kudistan-Kurdistan’s Director Bulent Gunduz:

Nigrin: How long did it take you to make Kudistan-Kurdistan and were there any memorable stories while you made this film or any other info about your film you can rely to our readers?

Gunduz: We shot the film section by section. We had some scenes in America and had to finish these ones first then go to Kurdistan to shoot the remaining parts. There are some scenes from summer and then waited until February to shoot the winter scenes. All together, the total shooting length was about a month to make this film.

I was deeply affected by some experiences during the shooting. I believe that even though it is a story of a Kurdish musician who lived in exile for over 20 years and finally returns to his birthplace, many people would find a piece in this film that mirrors their own lives. I find many pieces for myself. After the return, the first thing Delil did was to visit his grandmother’s grave. I did the same, for example. I cried more than Delil did in the film, however. I still can’t stop my tears each time I watch that scene.



 
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Another emotional moment for me is the scene when Delil reunites with his master, Egite Cimo, in Kurdistan, who traveled to see him from Yerevan, Armenia. The reunion of these two exiled Kurds resonates my own experience of reuniting with my Kurdish friends and family members who live in exile for decades in many parts of the world.

They reunited in the movie and I joined them from behind the cameras. Egide Cimo, the master of a flute called “mey”, came to my village in Kurdistan years ago and contributed my first documentary film called “Evdale Zeynike”. At that time Delil was still in exile and wasn’t allowed to travel to Turkey to join us so he involved in the film “Evdale Zeynike” from Germany. But this time in this film, “Kurdistan-Kurdistan”, three of us finally got the chance to come together.

I would also like to talk about the bath scene that shows pain of a mother longing for her son. I can’t forget the scene of Delil’s mother giving a bath to her 43 year-old son and still seeing him as her little boy. In reality we sons normally do not want our mothers give us a bath at that age even if she did not see us for years. However, Delil accepted his mother’s request for us, and we got the chance to closely witness his mother’s longing for her son.

Through that scene, we captured how much the experience of exile takes toll on one’s family, and how mothers see their love ones slipping away from their hands like a soap. Delil’s mother holds onto the soap so tightly when she finally gives her son a bath as she dreamed this for over 20 years while her son was in exile. By washing her son’s body, the mother tries to fulfill the lost years and washes the pain of being away from her son for long years. When this scene was over Delil’s mother thanked me so deeply. That was the most precious moment for me.

Lastly, at the end of the film, the message both Delil and I leave with the audience is that the reason for all these strategies - pains inflicted by years and decades of exile, and massacres, oppression, and dehumanization that Kurds have long been subjected to by the states that divide Kurdistan – is because we Kurds are people “without State”.

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The lovely short animated film A is for Aye-Aye: An Abecedarian Adventure will be screened before Kurdistan-Kurdistan. Here is more info on this screening:

A is for Aye-Aye: An Abecedarian Adventure – Augusta Palmer (Brooklyn, New York)   Iris, a curious, precocious and somewhat jaded nine-year-old New Yorker, is on a quest to find a space to exercise her imagination in the real world.  Wandering down Fifth Avenue, she spies the New York Public Library, walks through its doors, and then finds her way to the wondrous Picture Collection, an archive of over a million images. As she pulls a few images from the files, an engraving of an aye-aye suddenly springs to life and takes Iris - and the audience - on a transformative, animated journey. 2016; 14 min. With an introduction and Q+A session with Director Augusta Palmer!



 
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Kurdistan-Kurdistan – Bulent Gunduz (Antony, France)  A sensitive feature film about the tension between tradition and modernity, and the difficulty of returning home.  Delil Dilanar, a singer of traditional Kurdish songs, has continued to keep alive a rich and complex musical style known as dengbej.  However, after 20 years of exile in Europe, he finds that his heart hasn’t followed him. During a concert in New York, he announces his return to his roots.  Once he finds himself back in Kurdistan, he falls into a deep depression, and he must turn to his old music master to find his way forward. In Kurdish, subtitled. 98 min.  2015. With a Special Musical Performance by Delil Dilanar!

Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.


Voorhees Hall #105/Rutgers University


71 Hamilton Street, New Brunswick, New Jersey


$12=General; $10=Students+Seniors; $9=Rutgers Film Co-op Friends


Information: (848) 932-8482;
www.njfilmfest.com

Jimmy John’s of New Brunswick and Capitol Corn & Confections will be providing free food prior to all New Jersey International Film Festival  Screenings!

 

 

 

 




Albert Gabriel Nigrin is an award-winning experimental media artist whose work has been screened on all five continents. He is also a Cinema Studies Lecturer at Rutgers University, and the Executive Director/Curator of the Rutgers Film Co-op/New Jersey Media Arts Center, Inc.

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