Director Karabey to tell story of Kurdish village

Director Karabey to tell story of Kurdish village

Director Hüseyin Karabey, who has been selected at the 63. International Cannes Film Festival with his film project ‘Sesime Gel' (Come to my voice), is adapting a real story in Kurdistan in 1980’s into a film. Karabey was selected by the ‘Cinefondation-Atelier’ of the festival with his film project. There was no Turkish or Kurdish film at this year edition of the French festival. Karabey has been meeting international companies and producers for his film and said there is quite a deep interest in his film. ‘Cinefondation-Atelier’ is one of the important official offspring of Cannes. Hundreds of directors apply to the atelier every year to make their film projects become a reality, but only 15 qualified and compelling projects are approved. Director Karabey’s project is among the approved ones this year. Karabey spoke to ANF; “We have met with nearly 30 film makers from various countries. We still haven’t given a certain decision about who we will work with due to the high interest in the project.”


The set of Karabey’s new film is Kurdistan. The 90 minute-long feature film will be in Kurdish. This film will also be both fictional and documentary like ‘Gitmek’ (To Go) and it will be shot in Hakkari. The story is told by a blind dengbej (a Kurdish storyteller, a bard). The film begins with gendarmes carrying out raids on houses in a village looking for guns.


The script has been written by Karabey with Abidin Pýrýltý. Karabey says about his new film that “during the raid on the village, everybody gathers at the square. The soldiers then take a man from each family and say to the women “Bring your weapons to us and we'll release them.” But there are no guns in the village. It is here that the heroes of the film enter the scene. Seventy years old Berfê set on a trip with her 8 year old grandson Jîyan to find a gun and so save his detained son. Despite all their efforts, our heroes can’t find a gun without going to the city. And now the problem is how to take the gun to the village because they will certainly get into trouble if they are seen carrying a gun. That’s why they prefer the ridge way, where the blind storyteller (dengbej) give them a hand.” Setting also on the psychology of the soldiers who raid the village in the script Karabey observes; “The behaviour of the soldiers who raid the village is also being questioned. For example, a soldier is comparing Berfê with his mother while writing that he ‘can’t make sense of what he is doing’ in a letter to his own old mother.


Asked why he set on this project? Karabey replied that “the wounds of the crimes committed have not been healed yet. My aim is to report a real event through cinema.” About the language he says; “The story is taking place in Kurdistan, that’s why it will be in Kurdish. I also hope to help people in the West and Turks to like Kurdish. We must use Kurdish poetically and richly to give audience a wish to learn the language."


Asked about his opinion about the Turkish government so called "democratic opening" Karabey says; “Alteration, solution, status quo and blockage are all telescoped together. You sometimes have a optimistic look and sometimes can’t make any sense of what is happening. As a part of this process, to give my contribution to the solution, I am trying to tell what the Kurdish people live. The tragedies Kurdish people live contain many stories, which must be told.” Criticizing the film makers and artists in Turkey, Karabey notes that “artists are remaining passive, they are even behind the bureaucracy while they must be brave. The young generation is making an effort but in general, Turkish cinema is still dominated by conservatism."

Translator: Berna Ozgencil