Tuesday 23 February 2010. Part of Cinema Sunset.
In February’s Cinema Sunset (February the 23rd 2010) filmmaker S. Battal Kurt showed a version of his film The OngoingProject/ Toprakkale in combination with two films from his favourite film directors from Armenia and Iraqi Kurdistan: Vremada Goda (the seasons) by Artavazd Pelechian and Kilomètre Zéro by Hiner Saleem. In a dialogue with the audience Kurt talked about the difficult process of filming in eastern turkey that turned his film in an “ongoing project” and his interest in questions on cultural differences and identity.
The Ongoing project/ Toprakkale
Director: S.Battal Kurt
Runtime trailer: 9 min
Director: Artavazd Pelechian
Runtime: 28 min
Runtime: 96 mins
Runtime total programme : 134 min
For his Ongoing Project Kurt returned for a whole year to his birthplace Toprakkale in eastern Turkey to film the habits of the village’s inhabitants. Images of landscapes, rural life and the changing of seasons represent the filmmaker’s research into his own memories and identity.
The film Vremada Goda (The Seasons) by Artavazd Pelechian is one of the most important documentary films made in Armenia. Pelechian is renowned for developing a style of cinematographic perspective known as distance montage and his use of candid camera shots of people engaging in mundane tasks. In Vremada Goda, Pelechian depicts in a light, ironic and intimate way the co-existence of nature and the Armenian people.
Kilometre Zero by Hiner Saleem is a tragicomic road trip set in Iraqi Kurdistan, during the Iran-Iraq war in 1988. It tells the story of a young Kurdish man Ako, who is forced to join the Iraqi army to fight against Iran, whilst dreaming of escaping the country. Out in the frontline, the other Iraqi soldiers abuse him due to his Kurdish background. When Ako is given a mission to escort the coffin of a dead Iraqi soldier back to his family, an unexpected opportunity for escaping arises.