Bekas, Up and Away
Director: Karzan Kader, Writer: Karzan Kader, Zamand Taha, Sarwar Fazil
2012, 97 mins, Kurdish
Iraq in the early 1990 was a devastating land to survive in. When we think of Iraq, the first thing that tends to pop into our minds is the war and Saddam Hussein. But there is another side too – it is perhaps the most notorious country in the world and it goes by the name Kurdistan. Welcome to BEKAS. This is a story about two homeless brothers (Zana, 7) and (Dana, 10) who live on the edge of survival. In the beginning of the story they catch a glimpse of Superman through a hole in the wall at the local cinema. Zana and Dana decide that they want to go to America and live with Superman. Once they get there he can solve all their problems, make their lives easy and punish everyone that has been mean to them. Zana, the younger brother, starts to make a list of all people he is going to tell Superman to punish. On top of the list is Saddam Hussein. Dana on the other hand makes a concrete plan for what they need to get there; money, passports, transportation and a way to get across the boarder. Unfortunately they have neither of those. But in spite of everything they decide to follow the dream.
Passeurs de rêves (Beyond Our Dreams)
Director: Hiner Saleem , Cast: Olivier Sitruk, Rosanna Vite Mesropian
2000, 100 minutes, French and Kirmanji with English subtitles
Hiner Saleem’s second feature tracks a young refugee couple’s flight from Kurdistan to hopeful sanctuary in Paris, braving travails comic and tragic on their long, serpentine path. Already struggling toward an uncertain destination at the outset, childhood sweethearts Dolovan and Zara are first seen huffing across the frozen Caucasian Mountains. Not by choice: Saying “We have no country,” Dolovan is resigned to the necessity of leaving their lifelong village in Mesopotamia, where ethnic strife has drawn a vicious line between local Kurds and their suddenly intolerant neighbours. Zara is more reluctant, and their odyssey starts very badly as her elderly parents, lagging behind, are lost to the elements.” (Dennis Harvey, Variety)