Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Two Kurdish Movies in Hollywood

Two Kurdish Movies in Hollywood

Hollywood will be hosting two Kurdish movies on Women's issue in Northern Iraq in Kurdistan. Êk Momik, Du Momik - One Candle, Two Candles and CHAPLIN OF THE MOUNTAINS at the Lammle Noho 7 and after each film people can getting a chance to ask FilmmakerJano Rosebiani and a couple of the actors  questions. 

Please support independent cinema and a dedicated Kurdish filmmaker by attending on one of these nights. Ticket info: http://laemmle.com/theaters/23/2014-06-25#get-tickets

I will be moderating the Q&A on Wed 25 and my dear friend Simon Almen will be moderator on Sat 28 .

Wish to know more about the films,watch the trailers:

One Candle, Two Candles trailer 

One Candle, Two Candles trailer from Jano Rosebiani on Vimeo.

Teenage, Viyan is given to the wealthy elderly Haji Hemmo in a forced marraige. When she runs out of the bedroom and climbs a tree, refusing to sleep with him. he looses face and tbecomes the laughing-stock of the town. In return, he punishes her by locking her up in the bedroom. The more he's mocked by the townsfolk, the harder he punishes her.
Meanwhile, a traveling young artist, Botan attempts to liberate her. This leads to Haji Hemmo's resolve to set her on fire.
Two Kurdish Movies in Hollywood 
The Chaplin of the Mountains and One Candle, Two Candles by Mr. Joni Rosebiani will be screened this on June 25th in Laemmle Theaters in Los Angeles.  Some  major news papers such as New York Post and New York Times have written rave reviews . My reviews of the the two films are also forthcoming.
the show times are listed in the Lemmle's Theater calendar. Your support is essential for Mr. Rosebiani's continuing film projects that  essentially chronicle  our lived experiences in diaspora and in the mainland.  

Below please see the links to Evini Films and the Theater's announcement of the two movies.

"Chaplin of The Mountains" Kurdish film Trailer 

A soul searching  journey into the mountains of Kurdistan by five diverse personalities joined by a single quest .A road movie with deep symbolic and intellectual undertones, fusing various  cultures and perspectives in a humanistic display
San Sebastian film festival

UN Women and Women in ّهمئ sponsored the event.

"Writer and director, Jano Rosebiani, brings a surprising lightness to his material, which is further buoyed by a melodic soundtrack and Jonas Sacks's lovely landscape photography."
                                                                                                               -Jeannette Catsoulis, New York Times, Feb. 20, 2014
"There's a great deal of breathtaking scenery, and Rosebiani blends the travelogue vistas with a sense of what daily existence is like in these villages. There's a simplicity and directness in "Chaplin of the Mountains" that keeps it aloft."
                                                                                                                -Farran Smith Nehme, New York Post, Feb. 20, 2014
"To this viewer, what makes it most memorable is the portrait of ordinary Kurdish people shot on location in a remote but beautiful region. They are the real stars. Most of all, you will be mesmerized by a series of performances by Kurdish folk musicians and dancers who are celebrating the continuation of an ancient civilization against all odds."
                                                                                                                 -Louis Proyect, NY Critic / Blogger, Feb. 22, 2014
"[Rosebiani] manages to depict the still horrendous conditions faced by the region's women while demonstrating the growing artistic freedom seeping into its milieu."
                                                                                                         -Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, Feb. 19, 2014
"At times the film will remind you of magical realism. Viyan climbs a tree in a wedding dress to avoid Hemmo's all-too-persistent advances, a scene that will remind you of a Gabriel Garcia Marquez novel."
                                                                                                            -Louis Proyect, NY Critic / Blogger, Feb. 22, 2014
- See more at: http://www.evinifilms.com/reviews.html#sthash.Ke5zFh30.dpuf

Review by Amir Sharifi and Ali Ashouri
Kurdish Diasporic Cinema
The Chaplin of the Mountains and One Candle, Two Candles
Kurdish diasporic cinema, traceable to 1980’s and 1990’s, is vividly invoked in the work of Jano Rosebiani, the Kurdish American film maker. His Chaplin of the Mountains is informed by lived experiences of exile, nostalgia, journeys, border crossings, intergenerational experiences, memories, reflections, linguistic heterogeneity and code switching, intermingling of music, images, nature and culture. Chaplin of the Mountains, an experience in hybridity attempts to find a new expression in form and theme. 
The narrative structure is initially straightforward. Two young American film graduate students set out to explore the reaction of remote Kurdish in Northern Iraq to the projected screening of universal marvels and magic of Chaplin’s silent films. David ( Zack Gold) and  Alan,( Bennet Viso)  assume that bringing Chaplin to spectators of  remote Kurdish villagers may evoke entirely visceral responses  based on their naïve and implausible premise that cinema had not yet reached the far reaches of this old world. As they are working out the details of their journey with the assistance of their Kurdish guide, Gelali (Kurdo Galali), they meet Naze (Estelle Bajou), a young French Kurdish woman who has given up her search for locating her mother’s ancestral village destroyed during the Anfal genocidal campaign. Naze joins up with the two students, one of whom is also half Kurdish like herself on their cinematic exploration. An ambitious female journalist, Shireen, (Tales Farzan) who is in quest of her career story also joins them as the initial uneasy feelings and uncertainty among them give in to inner connections, affinity, and even romantic intimacy between the characters whose acting is sincere and compelling. Chaplin’s screening while delightful for children is never completely shown as the mute images are interrupted repeatedly with intrusive images and sound such as a shepherd’s brawl and  his bleating goats , the stern objection of a Yazidi priest who considers the projection on the walls of his holy shrine a sacrilege, and songs and dances of a wedding. A nostalgic song in the wedding carries Naze back to her childhood memory of her mother’s favorite song; overcome with emotions she divulges the harrowing life and tragic death of her mother, who had been abdudcted and sold into a brothel in Egypt, but saved and taken to France by Naze’s father. The story line suddenly changes direction as David and Alan and the others commit themselves to helping Naze find her mother’s village. The narratives told by the characters intersect with a turbulent and repressive history and the genesis of hybrid identities and contemporary political changes as experienced by second generation Kurds.  The Chaplin of the Mountains provides some splendid glimpses of Kurdish landscape, vibrant rhythm of melancholic music, and aspects of life from the perspective of an exiled film maker. The melancholic music is spellbinding. The cinematography of some scenes is astounding and the landscape is brilliant as is some of the acting. The long search finally brings them to the village where Naze’s mother had lived before she was abducted and sold. The village situated between Iran, Iraq, and Turkey, a mined area notoriously called Bermuda Triangle for its dangers. Naze and her companions find their way to the village where Naze finds her grandfather, the only resident of the ruined village,   a hermit still traumatized by the destruction, massacre, and violence that had been inflicted on the villagers and his family. The final sequence shows the newly found bond between a grandfather and his granddaughter as the film maker’s optimism bridges the gap between intentions and accidents, generations, languages, the imagined and the real land, and the diasporic world and homeland; in short, the film despite some dramatic and technical idiosyncrasies, upholds the hope for beauty and humanity in the face of tyranny, adversity, and the tragic history of the land and the fragmented existence of its people.

Opens June 25, 2014 at Laemmle Theaters –Los Angeles
Cast: Estelle Bajou, Zack Gold, Benner Visso, Kurdo Galali, Taies Farzan, Enwer Shekhani
Director-screenwriter-producer-editor: Jano Rosebiani
Director of photography: Jonas Sacks
Composers: Ciwan Haco, Agire Jiyan, Rodja, Mehmet Atli, Semir Ali

One Candle, Two Candles 
One Candle, Two Candles, a visually outstanding film by Rosebiani explores the universal problem of forced marriage, particularly child betrothals in a Kurdish town. The story is told through a melodrama. A young 15 year old girl, Viyan (Katin Ender) falls victim to the barbaric tradition of forced marriage. Her pusillaminous, sycophant and greedy father lured by a rich dowry promised by a wealthy local businessman, Haji Hemmo (Enwer Shekhani), forces his young daughter to marry the polygamous man who is old enough to be her grandfather. The defenseless child bride defies such an injustice. On the eve of the wedding she flees the bridal chamber and in desperation climbs a tree from which she adamantly refuses to come down, causing great embarrassment for the much revered Haji, who becomes laughingstock of the townsfolk, including the town’s buffoon.  The increasingly disgruntled and wrathful Haji becomes more abusive, resorting to brutal beatings and raping of the underage girl.  He goes so far to attempt to set her on fire in a fireplace, not realizing that Viyan had managed to crawl out and subsequently helped by Haji’s two other wives. A number of characters, most of whom play their assigned roles well, create a seemingly jocular context for the melodrama: Botan (Perwer Tariq), a travelling artist who falls in love with Viyan, a sphephard who prays to God for a new pair of shoes, a hunchback flasher, Dino, the village buffoon, and most notably, the ubiquitous Kitan (Mina Ibrahimzadeh) known and feared by boys as the “Ball Buster” for the type of death she had inflicted on her violent husband. The power and magic of love prevails in the end as Viyan, despite many ordeals, succeeds in eloping with Botan. Kitan finds her way into the Haji’s house; his shrill cries reecho through the hillside while Viyan, Botan and some other townsfolk are dancing on a bridge right before the two lovers elope on a motor cycle. The film despite its occasionally misplaced humor, succeeds in warning the Kurdish society against the agony and atrocity that young girls are subjected to; many are not are not as lucky as Viyan was to escape their tormenting lives.
However, Rosebiani’s recent movies for Kurds are sincere attempts to convey insightful messages about Kurdishness, Kurdistan and its tragic history, its glorious beauty, and its cultural practices.
Opens June 25, 2014 at Laemmle Theaters –Los Angeles
Cast: Enwer Shekhani, Katrin Ender, Hisen Hesen, Kurdo Galali, Mina Ibrahimzadeh, Gulbahar Kavcu, Perwer Tariq
Director/screenwriter/producer/editor: Jano Rosebiani
Director of photography: Hamid Ghavami
Composer: Alain Pierre

Mr.Jano Rosebiani,and Soraya fallah during Kurdish Community of Southern California's event for screening one of his film

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