Global Kurdish Film Festival Q&A with Celîle Celîl, moderated by Ferhan Sterk.
Casîme Celîl: Life of a Kurdish Intellectual
Casimê Celîl was born into a Yezidi Kurdish family in 1908, in a village called Kizilkule, located in Digor, Kars. The village and family life, which he longed to remember throughout his life, ends with the massacre they endured in 1918. During his long road to Erivan, Armenia, he lost all his family members. Left all alone, Casim was placed into an orphanage and was forced to change his name. To remember who he was and where he came from, every morning he repeated the mantra “Navê min Casim e, Ez kurê Celîlim, Ez ji gundê Kizikule ya Digorê me, Ez Kurd im, Kurdê Êzîdî me”, which translates to: “My name is Casim, I am the son of Celîl, I come from the village of Kizilkule in Digor, I am a Kurd, and I am Yezidi”. He clings to every piece of his culture he can find, reads, and saves whatever Kurdish literature or art he comes across. As the year’s pass, Casim finds himself with an impressive collection of Kurdish culture and history.
Today, the very same house is a well-known Kurdish institution where more than 20 thousand pieces of literature about the Kurdish culture can be found. The institution also has thousands of pieces of Kurdish music which they have digitalized along with an impressive amount of Kurdish books, photos, and letters which are one day hoped to be gifted to the schools of Kurdistan. In other words, the house has become a place not only filled with one family’s story but an institution, open to anyone interested in Kurdish history.
Directed by Özlem Diler and Celil Badikanlı
Celil Badikanlı was born in 1968 in Muş. He completed his primary, secondary, and high school education in Muş and his higher education in 1988 at Selçuk University, Department of Map Cadastre. He produced and directed the documentary “Reso” between 2014-2015; He also directed and produced the movie “Evin”, which was shot in 2017.
Özlem Diler was born in 1973 in Antakya. She graduated from 9 Eylül University, Department of Labor Economics and Industrial Relations in 1995. She has worked with the Izmir Independent Women’s Initiative as co-director in the documentary titled “Arkadaşımı Merak Ediyorum”.