Film on Kurdish genocide gets UK premiere at London festival

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Marking the 26th anniversary of the Anfal genocide in Kurdistan, the London Kurdish Film Festival will on Sunday host the UK premiere of the award-winning documentary “1001 Apples”.

The documentary, directed by the late Taha Karimi, one of Kurdistan’s film geniuses, revolves around the story of ten Kurds who survived the 1988 genocide committed by Saddam Hussein’s Ba’athist regime. As many as 182,000 people died in the Anfal tragedy, which saw 4,500 villages destroyed and involved the use of chemical weapons in Halalbja.

One of the characters in the film is Faraj, who later founded the Iraqi Mass Graves Survivors Group. Upon his return to Kurdistan, Faraj bought 1001 red apples and cloves and distributed them to those who had lost loved ones, symbolizing peace and reconciliation.

“The UK Kurdish community is determined to keep the memories of ‘Anfal’ alive, not only for the prevention of future acts of genocide, but also for the elimination of all weapons of mass destruction worldwide,” read the statement released by the London Kurdish Film Festival.

The event aims to preserve the memories of the Anfal genocide and gathers filmmakers, film critics, academics, and members of the public to discuss the role and representation of genocide in Kurdish cinema and art.

A panel discussion will include Iraqi writer and film critic Adnan Ahmed; filmmakers Chiman Rahimi, Mizgin Mujde Arslan, Dilshad Mustefa; and Fazil Moradi, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute in Germany.

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