Kurdish National Identity in the films of Yilmaz Guney and Bahmani Ghobadi


  • Lanja Najmaldin Karim Department of English, College of Languages, University of Human Development. Sulaimani, Kurdistan Region – F.R. Iraq




Statelessness, Identity, power, Kurdish, National Cinema


this essay explores the conceptualization of Kurdish identity in the works of Kurdish film makers, namely Bahmani Ghobadi and Yikmaz Guney, whose films established a unified Kurdish National Cinema beyond the borders and statelessness in a transnational space. This essay delineates the ways Kurdishness is expressed in the cinematic techniques of the two Kurdish film makers who used similar subtle techniques to incorporate their Kurdish identity into the films they made. The Kurds, as one of the largest stateless ethnic group in the Middle East have suffered violent oppression, state perpetuated discrimination, and exclusion. This essay draws on Hannah Arendt’s The Origins of Totalitarianism, and Philip Rosen’s essay in Theorizing National Cinema to explore how Yalmiz Guney and Bahmani Ghobadi presented the national identity of the characters to mark the films with a sense of Kurdishness. This essay further explores the construction of national identity and personhood specifically in Guney’s Yol and Ghobadi’s Turtles Can Fly to show how stateless people can easily become a subject of dehumanization by different nation states.


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How to Cite

Karim, L. N. (2021). Kurdish National Identity in the films of Yilmaz Guney and Bahmani Ghobadi. Journal of University of Human Development, 7(3), 69–73. https://doi.org/10.21928/juhd.v7n3y2021.pp69-73