Özlem Yaşar, the writer and director of the film about the Kobanê resistance, which will meet the audience in 6 months, stated that they made the film with the participation of the people of Kobanê and through international solidarity.
“I can admit that it is an amazing feeling to be contributing to the Kurdish cinema. Because we as Kurdish people, don’t have a long cinematic history,” said Yaşar to ANF.
“It is a new field for as and there are important time courses that should be reflecting the Kurdish values, way of living and culture into the cinema. The heritage of the Kurdish resistance deserves to be represented better with cinema and art.”
Media Doz and Özlem Yaşar co-wrote the screenplay for the film Kobanê, which was produced by Rojava Film Commune.
Doz and Yasar interviewed hundreds of witnesses and fighters for the script, and the film is based on real stories. The film was shot in the city of Kobanê and Tebqa, where the resistance took place.
“The war of Kobane was a worldly resistance and it quickly carried itself into the international arena. The history of Kurdistan can be considered as the history of resistance. There are amazing resistances among the 4 regions of Kurdistan against the status quo and the way of living implemented upon the Kurdish people. It has not been so long since the Kobane war, and it concerns recent history. There are still risks concerning the Kobane war, considering that the marks of the war are still existing among us. The Kobane war was a process we followed very closely. Our friends and comrades joined the war, most of them became martyrs, really great prices were paid. This process brought the idea of turning this freedom fight into a film. This surely will be treated in many other forms of art, literature and films. Our film ‘Kobane’ is one of the first of its kind.” says director Yaşar.
“On our film ‘Kobane’, we did not follow a chronological order. We obviously used the help of reality and fiction. We did interviews with hundreds of people, who actually experienced the war on the first hand and with the residents of Kobane. This brought the reality of what happened in its purest form and we did our best to hold on to this reality.”
According to director Yaşar it is possible to consider the film as women’s film.
“Because we wanted to reflect the side of the war which was led by women. Big sacrifices were made in the women’s front,” she noted.
Yaşar wants to finish the post production as quickly as possible and have the film released. The film is expected to reach the audience in 6 months.
About Özlem Yaşar
Özlem Yaşar was born in 1981 in Batman’s (Êlih) Sason district. She completed primary and secondary education there. Her interest in art began in high school. She was in theatre groups.
During those years, she wrote and directed theatrical plays and closely followed Kurdish music, literature, theatre, and cinema. She also wrote poems, stories and scripts.
She starred in the film “Dema Jin Hezbike” by Halil Dag, who is making films in the mountains of Kurdistan. She has written and shot various short films. She also directed the film Berfîn, which was produced by Sine Ciya in 2017.
On the Kobanê resistance
The siege of Kobanê was launched by the Islamic State (ISIS) on 13 September 2014 and 350 village near the city were occupied within weeks.
As no international power intervened and the ISIS had free access to the area both from Iraq and Turkey, the only barrier between the the city and the jihadist group was the fighters of the People’s Protection Units (YPG) and the Women’s Protection Units (YPJ), confronting ISIS tanks, howitzers, field guns and rocket launchers with only light weapons
After a fight of six months that left hundreds dead on both sides and destroyed the city almost completely, ISIS was defeated by Kurdish forces with the air support of the International Coalition, and was driven out of the entire area.