The state of Kurdish cinema


WHEN Zaradasht Ahmed, a Norwegian-Kurdish director, began shooting his war documentary, a complicated process spanning more than five years awaited him. “Nowhere to Hide” (2016, pictured), an immersive account of a male nurse working and raising a family in Iraq, was shot collaboratively by Mr Ahmed and the nurse himself, Nori Sharif. Living in the “no-go” zone of Jalawla, Mr Sharif could access people and places which organisations and journalists could not. Mr Ahmed taught him how to film—and ended up taking the documentary in a whole new direction.

Although the Kurds’ contributions to defeating Islamic State (IS) turned the world’s eye on this population of 40m—spread across Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran—little is known about their creative cultural output. For decades, politics made it nearly impossible for them to make films: the Kurdish language was banned in places, poverty was rife, and the Iraqi-Kurdish civil war lasted throughout the 1990s.

But in recent years, Erbil, the largest city in the…Continue reading

Powered by WPeMatico

Visualising the careers of musicians-turned-actors

THE news of Harry Styles’s casting in “Dunkirk” (2017) was met with bemusement. It was hard to imagine the boyband heartthrob, with his Mick Jagger-esque locks and floral suits, under siege on the beaches of northern France (rather than under siege from hordes of teenage girls). Did a short comic …

Britain could become basketball’s latest global outpost

FOR ONE night a year the O2 Arena, London’s biggest indoor stadium, belongs to basketball. On January 11th the 20,000-seat venue hosted its eighth regular-season fixture since 2011, between the Boston Celtics and the Philadelphia 76ers, the former of whom are genuine championship contenders this season in the National Basketball …

Is art-connoisseur yet another job threatened by technology?

THE patient is carefully positioned on a pristine rectangular table. A signal is given, and from behind a glass wall, a technician directs an X-ray machine overhead. Zapping begins. This is not a hospital. It is the conservation laboratory of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Visits here were part of the …