Hiner Saleem in London with a French-Kurdish film - VIDEO
22 November 2011Melodrama and comedy, tragedy and absurdity ingredients of new Saleem's film. Also shown "My letter to Pippa"
Philippe is a Frenchman who has just been released from jail, he meets Avdal, a Kurdish refugee looking for an Iraqi war criminal in a quest to take revenge. They become friends and Avdal ends up staying in Philippe's little studio located on the top floor of an old Parisian building. Avdal has a fiancée called Siba back in Kurdistan, who plans to join him in France. But Avdal unexpectedly dies from a heart attack, and Philippe has to deal with his corpse in a very short time. Renown Kurdish director Hiner Saleem’s latest feature If You Die I will Kill You encompasses melodrama, comedy and tragedy starring Jonathan Zaccaï, Mylène Demongeot and Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani who played in Body of Lies with Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe.
"If You Die I Will Kill You" is the new film by East Kurdish director Hiner Saleem (Vodka Lemon). Saleem has been living in France for some time now and his films are permeated by this situation as an exiled person.
The film is a French production.
Hiner Saleem, born in 1969, is a Kurdish filmmaker who lives in Paris.
If You Die, I'll Kill You also encompasses melodrama and comedy, tragedy and absurdity. The Armenian village of Vodka Lemon has given way to the Parisian Tenth Arrondissement, in which a substantial Kurdish community has grown over the past 30 years.
Approximately 150,000 Kurds currently reside in France, many of whom live and work in Paris's Tenth. Much of this immigration is quite recent. During the 1960s and '70s, the first Kurdish immigrants came to France for economic reasons. During the '80s, '90s, and after September 11, the wave of immigration became more political, prompted by the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the growing discrimination against the country's Kurds that followed; by Saddam Hussein's Anfal Operation in 1987, which used chemical gas to kill thousands of people and destroyed 90 percent of Iraq's Kurdish villages; by the Turkish military operations against the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in 1984 and the subsequent destruction of 3,428 Kurdish villages there. Recently, due to the second U.S.-led war in Iraq, many Kurds fled from Iraqi Kurdistan and joined this Parisian community.
Long sequences shot in close-up show them experiencing new sensations. During her first night in Paris, as she looks at the gray sky from her tiny balcony, Ziba feels the freshness of the air and discovers her loneliness, far from the security of her family and homeland. Later in the film, she goes to the bar her fiancé used to frequent and orders her first glass of wine. The way she tastes it transforms this common drink into a sacred beverage embodying liberty and feminine emancipation.
Philippe spends most of his time in his empty apartment, and the heavy smoke of his cigarettes reflects a man lost in impenetrable thoughts. Adval quietly and obsessively eats eggs and seems to ponder his past life in Kurdistan. These silent scenes have a cumulative emotional effect and lead us to identify both with the specific characters and the universal state of loneliness they enact.
IF YOU DIE I WILL KILL YOU
Director: Hiner Saleem
Cast: Jonathan Zaccaï, Golshifteh Farahani, Mylène Demongeot, Özz Nüjen, Menderes Samancılar, Billey Demirtaş, Nazmi Kırık
France / 2010 / 90mins
From East Kurdistan is also "My Letter to Pippa" directed by Bingöl Elmas. Giuseppina Pasqualino di Marineo (known as Pippa Bacca) was an Italian artist who, wearing a symbolic wedding dress embarked on a hitch-hiking expedition from Rome to the Middle-East to pro- mote world peace and renewed trust in people. In 2008, she di- sappeared outside Istanbul. Her raped body was later recovered. In this road documentary, Kurdish director Bingöl Elmas picks up the peace torch where the young Italian artist and peace activist left off, and undertakes to continue the journey.
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