Narcissus should blossom
Devrim Kilic – Boston - 07/08/06
The Kurdish Cinema is gradually developing day by day. Almost each day we hear the success
story of Kurdish directors and films. Along with the famous directors, some new Kurdish
directors make their name in cinema industry. It is sensational to see the success of new and
young Kurdish directors. Despite the all obstacles, the resistance of Kurdish cinema has
historical importance for both Kurds and film art.
I recently had the chance of watching "U Nergiz Biskivin" (Narcissus Blossom), the film of
Kurdish directors Masoud Arif Salih and Hussein Hassan Ali. "U Nergiz Biskivin", won Amnesty
International Film Award at the 56. Berlin International Film Festival at the beginning of this year
tells the struggle of Kurdish peshmergas who were resisting the brutal Saddam regime in
1975, with a dramatic and poetic style and language. Based on the story of Mihemed Mihsin, the
film is a politic-dram. Shot from the perspective of a university student, Jeger, who later joins the
peshmerga forces due to the increase of state oppression on students in Duhok.
Though Jeger joins the peshmerga, his mind is obsessed with his family and his university
friends. In reality, he is a person who is against the use of weapons and force. That’s why he is
deeply affected of the peshmarga life. It is a humanist film that reflects the desire of freedom
and peace of Kurds and it idealizes Kurds’ struggle. Furthermore there are the misery of
Kurdish villagers who are stuck in-between clashes, the massacred Kurdish children and the
Kurdish girls who commits suicide by throwing themselves from a cliff in order to not to be
raped by Iraqi soldiers.
While idealizing the struggle of Kurds for existing and freedom, at the same time the filmmakes
criticism of the Kurds. Dealing with the issues of domestic violence against Kurdish women
and arranged marriage of a Kurdish girl who loves someone else "U Nergiz Biskivin" draws the
audiences attentions to the question of women freedom.
Amazingly at certain points, ‘U Nergiz Biskivin’ (Narcissus Blossom) tastes like a poet in terms
of its dialogues, images and editing. It is one of the most political and nationalist Kurdish films I
ever watched. One can easily see the desire of freedom of Kurds in its profound dialogues.
Jeger says "It's been measured and divided into four parts a long time ago, but their dreams will
never be achieved. May be not today but tomorrow, may be not us but someone else. We will
make Kurdistan flag from the legends (Khane Lep Zerin Myth) and wrap it around the four parts;
we will say Kurdistan is one not four."
In addition, the film criticizes international powers, like USA, that put their interest first when it
comes to the issue of Kurds freedom. One line from the film reads, "A Kurds life is sold for one
All the characters in the film played by non-professional actors/actress and including directors
Hussein Hassan Ali as Jeger and Masoud Arif Salih as doctor. The performance of two
directors are very good overall the film. The film, which is a Sevin and Nudem production, takes
place in the city of Duhok where the directors were born and is shot by the support of Kurdistan
Regional Government. This film is a new source of joy for Kurdish Cinema, so one should help
‘Narcissus’ to blossom; as it is our feature that will wilt.
Production: Iraq / France, 2005, 80 min
Director: Masoud Arif Salih, Hussein Hassan Ali
Cast: Hussein Hassan Ali, Masoud Arif Salih, Bakir Kovli, Beybun, Mohammed A. Artishi, Ismail
Zuber, Hakar Mohsin, Shahin Kivork
World sales: Ciné FK2 Production
Devrim Kilic's other articles:
1- Representation of Kurdish Identity and Culture in the Films of Bahman Ghobadi
2- Narcissus should Blossom
3- Criticism of cultural biases and celebration of love!
4- Kiarostami’s portrayal of Kurds in ‘A taste of cherry’ and ‘The wind will carry us’
of Kurds in ‘A taste of
cherry’ and ‘The wind
will carry us’
Kurdish Identity and
Culture in the Films of
Yol: A monument to
An interview with the
director Lauand Omar
David & Layla: Criticism
of cultural biases and
celebration of love!
Interview with Yilmaz
David & Layla
Pain of Giving Birth
Crossing the Border
The New Kurdish
Yol - Jalal Jonroy
Breaking the Silence