Posted on September 12, 2016 by Editorial Staff in Cinema, Yazidis
The Dark Wind (Resheba) film, from director Hussein Hassan. Photo: Screenshot/YouTube
DUHOK, Iraq’s Kurdistan region,— A group of Yazidi lawyers is working on a lawsuit against the director of a film — screened at the opening of the Duhok Film Festival on Friday – which they say depicts their community in a negative light.
The film The Dark Wind, about the invasion of the Islamic State against the Yazidi town of Shingal (Sinjar) in August 2014, tells the story of a young Yazidi couple who split up when the girl is kidnapped by IS, and shows the problems the two families involved go through after she escapes from the group and returns home.
“Screening that movie resulted in discontent among Yazidi Kurds because it contains some scenes that are far from the reality of the Yazidi Kurds,” said Hemn Fere Xeyri Beg, one of some 30 lawyers working voluntarily to bring a lawsuit against the Kurdish director of the film, Hussein Hassan.
“That is why we are working to file a lawsuit against the director of the film and its staff,” he told Rudaw.
Some prominent members of the Yazidi community, amongst them the liberator of 450 Yazidi women and children in the past two years, Abu Sujah, feared that the film paints the community as conservative and backward. On his Facebook page he had called for protests when his demand for a preview was not met.
One of the objections to the film was to a scene showing an old woman praying to a Yazidi deity while carrying out an abortion on Pero, the film’s female protagonist, who is pregnant after being kidnapped by IS. Community leaders also complained about the way the film shows women and children being transported and sold by IS.
At the festival, at the end of the film when Pero’s father plans to kill her for the way her shattered honor has affected the whole family, some of the audience got on their feet in protest.
Hassan, the film’s director, told Rudaw he is ready to go to court, should the lawyers pursue legal action against him.
The Dark Wind is the first film made about the Yazidi genocide at the hands of IS, and focused mainly on the personal tragedy, causing many in the audience to reach for handkerchiefs.
Islamic State group has captured most parts of the Yazidi Sinjar district in northwest Iraq on August 3, 2014 which led thousands of Kurdish families to flee to Mount Sinjar, where they were trapped in it and suffered from significant lack of water and food, killing and abduction of thousands of Yazidis as well as rape and captivity of thousands of women.
Those who stay behind are subjected to brutal, genocidal acts: thousands killed, hundreds buried alive, and countless acts of rape, kidnapping and enslavement are perpetuated against Yazidi women. To add insult to injury, IS fighters ransack and destroy ancient Yazidi holy sites.
Of around 5,000 Yazidi women captured by the jihadi militants in the summer of 2014, some 2,000 have managed to escape or been smuggled out of Islamic State’s self-proclaimed caliphate.
A Yazidi member of Iraqi parliament Vian Dakhil, said in August that 3,770 Kurdish Yazidi women and children still in Islamic State captivity.