Kurdistan Kurdish documentary hits Hollywood, wins Audience Award

Kurdish documentary hits Hollywood, wins Audience Award
Apo W. Bazidi and his crew at Hollywood’s Dances With Films, June 8, 2017. (Photo: Kurdistan24)

LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) - An illuminating documentary that follows the life of a Kurdish family from Kobani into the refugee camps on Syrian-Turkish border won the audience award on Monday after its West Coast Premiere.

Berxwedan Jiyane, Kurdish for Resistance is Life is the first feature film of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts graduate Apo W. Bazidi who was born and raised in the Kurdistan of Turkey (Bakur) in the 90s turmoil.

Offering more than the devastations of war after the vicious Islamic State (IS) takes over Syria and Iraq, Resistance is Life portrays the spirit of people who defeated the most barbaric group of our age despite the lack of military training and heavy weaponry, handing IS its first major defeat.

Eight-year-old Evlin from Kobane narrates the story of her life against the backdrop of destruction and hope, brings smile and tears to the audience while showing her life in the overcrowded camps where clean water is a luxury.

Cleveland International Film Festival screened the world premiere of Resistance is Life. Argentina and Egypt held its international screening.

Hollywood’s Dances With Films on June 8 and San Francisco’s Documentary Festival in June 11 and 12 showed the movie which brought in a lot of viewers from long distance.

Evin Baysal from Bakur told Kurdistan24, "It was an amazing movie [in which] you will find a part of yourself no matter what background you have."

Serving as a volunteer in refugee camps in Turkey and listening to the heart-wrenching stories of hundreds of the displaced, Baysal said she always looked for a way to tell these stories. To her, this movie accomplished a major goal, giving a voice to the voiceless.

The owner of the Kurdish Restaurant Niroj told Kurdistan24 the film was able to portray a "small part of a much bigger story."

Luqman Barwari, originally from Kurdistan Region said, "Through the film, we witnessed the resilience of Elvin, the main character, her family and friends. We witnessed the bravery and resilience of YPJ and YPG, and their resistance in fighting back for their land, and never retreat, even when 90% of the city was totally destroyed."

"Such resilience reaffirmed, no power can break the will of the Kurdish nation and the city of Kobane. Biji berxwedana Kobane," he concluded.

Irene Dadkoush, a California-based Kurd originally from Iranian Kurdistan (Rojhelat) said she had visited the refugee camps in Erbil and the film spoke to her.

"I loved all the elements combined together: sadness, love, tears and hope [which] helps people who haven't been to a displaced camp and war zone to understand and feel the situation."

To support the film see Resistance Movie.