The first film about Kurds
Zeré is 80 years old
KurdishCinema.com / April 7, 2007
by Rohat Alakom *
The first film that takes the Kurds as a subject matter is the film titled Zeré, shot in 1926 in
The poster of the film Zere
This film is considered to be the first film portraying the life of Kurds in cinema history. Shot by a
famous Armenian director Hamo Beknazaryan (1892-1965) who is accepted as the founder of
the Armenian cinema, the film Zeré takes place in Kurdish villages of Armenia. The screenplay
of the film was written by Hakob Gazaryan. Zeré is a kind of adaptation of the story wrote by
Gazaryan called “The story of Zeré”. Several famous Armenian artists took roles in the film
which tells the love affair between Zeré and a Kurdish shepherd Seydo. Their struggle for the
right to love and happiness is confronted by the reaction of the village Aga, Mr. Temur. Though
originally it was a silent movie, in 1970s Zeré has been redeveloped and voiced.
Director of the film Zere Hamo Beknazaryan
The second film from Armenia about Kurds shot in 1933 called “Kurdish Yezidis”. This film tells
the story of the difficulties a woman teacher, Zinê, faces in a Kurdish village of Armenia. The
conservatives of the village do not want to accept a woman teacher.
In 1948 and 1959, two documentaries called “The Kurds of Soviet Armenia” and “Kurds of
Armenia” shot in Armenia during the Socialist Soviet Russia.
The script of the documentary “The Kurds of Soviet Armenia”, shot in 1948, was written by
Armenian H. Koçaryan and a Kurdologist Heciye Cindi. This documentary depicts the life of
Kurds in Armenia after socialist revolution in 1917.
And the second documentary, “Kurds of Armenia” was written by a Kurdish writer Ereb Samilov.
The director of the documentary is C. Jamharyan and in this film the success of Kurds in socio-
economical and cultural life of Armenia is reflected. There is an interview with a famous
Kurdish writer Qanate Kurdo and others known Kurds in Armenia in the documentary.
The cast of the film Zere
These four films mentioned above have historical important for Kurds and Kurdish cinema as
they are the first films portraying the life of Kurds in cinema history.
Rohat Alakom is a Kurdish researcher who lives in Sweden.
Translated from Turkihs by Devrim Kilic
For the Turkish and Kurdish version of the article please visit the below links:
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Interview with Yilmaz
David & Layla
Pain of Giving Birth
Crossing the Border
The New Kurdish
Yol - Jalal Jonroy
Breaking the Silence