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Dcumentary on village life during Kurdish rebellion

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Dcumentary on village life during Kurdish rebellion

PostAuthor: Anthea » Sat Aug 08, 2020 10:18 am

New Interactive Documentary

Documentary sheds light on village life during Kurdish rebellion

'Big Village' is an interactive documentary which recreates life for Iranian Kurds during the Kurdish rebellion following the 1979 revolution. The documentary sheds light on the experiences of civilians in a Kurdish village and its significance in the wider rebellion, and has been selected for the Golden Calf - the Oscars of the Dutch Film Industry – at the Netherlands Film Festival this autumn.

Co-director Beri Shalmashi, an award-winning director now based in the Netherlands, based Big Story off of experiences in her village of Gewrede, where she spent the first two years of her life.

Shalmashi is a tutor at Amsterdam's Sandberg Institute for audiovisual MA program Resolution, where she teaches her own class in authenticity in narrative storytelling. She is an advisor to the Dutch Film Fund, writes reviews for independent film magazine De Filmkrant, and regularly writes essays for newspaper De Volkskrant. In 2019, one of her essays was nominated for the prestigious Anil Ramdas Award.

Big Village, watchable online (see link below) has been selected for a Golden Calf – the Oscars of the Dutch Film Industry – for the Nederland Film Festival this autumn.

In this short interview, Shalmashi told Rudaw’s Banu Dilshad that she says aims to make people in Kurdistan and abroad understand the course of the events and the plight Kurds endured at the hands of the Iranian regime.

The interview has been edited for clarity.

Rudaw: I am sure everyone would like to know, what prompted you to produce an interactive documentary?

The story dates back 35 years. This is very old in my opinion. Even if I were there at the time, I would not remember how things looked like back then. I wanted to make people in and outside of Kurdistan understand the course of the events back then. So we started to look for archives and there were not many. I therefore decided to recount the story in a way for the audience to follow me in the very same way. I have used a technique which I have wanted to target people of all ages to have the interest in watching the course of events and that history.

Not everyone is familiar with interactive documentaries. If someone wants to watch the documentary and faces difficulties, isn’t this a problem?

Apparently, interactive documentaries are something quite new. It took five years for me and my team to understand how to use the system. Anyone using Whatsapp, Telegram, Facebook and others can access it. It is something new. And new things are done with pleasure and are more welcomed than the traditional types of documentaries. I hope people will be able to access it on the site.

What does an interactive documentary mean, how was this documentary produced? Photographs used in it date back to the last century. How did you produce it? Was there someone to design it? Or it was all done by the director?

Producing a documentary which resembles video games more than an actual film is quite different because the director has no actors or editing to do. This makes a difference. You feel like you make a world and are telling a story. Even the crew working with us was different, including someone who had expertise in web designing , one illustrating and another who had skills in gaming techniques. It resembles a video game more than a film.

As you said, the documentary resembles a game. Let us suppose that a person is interested in entering your site. It consists of different parts and you choose how to watch the incidents. Can someone easily tie all the events to each other? In other words, doesn't the documentary get mixed up if someone wants to watch it?

This is a great question, thank you. There is a road in the Big Village. If you follow that road, you follow the story in a way that this exactly how I wanted to recount it. The audience can choose a different path. What was very important for my crew and I was to produce it in a way which helps the audience understand the history of the period.
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Dcumentary on village life during Kurdish rebellion



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