Kurdish filmmaker cancels US visit over Trump actions

Hussein Hassan's film tells the tale of a young Yazidi couple preparing for their wedding when fighters from ISIL attack their village.

Kurdish filmmaker cancels  US visit over Trump actions

World Bulletin / News Desk

Citing President Donald Trump's visa crackdown, Kurdish filmmaker Hussein Hassan has scrapped plans to attend the US premiere of his critically acclaimed film on the Yazidi minority, it was announced Friday.

Jaie Laplante, director of the Miami Film Festival, where the Kurdish-Iraqi movie "The Dark Wind" is to be screened in March, said Hassan had decided to withdraw his visa application in protest at Trump's forthcoming executive orders that are set to suspend the US refugee program and restrict visas to citizens of certain countries, including Iraq, Iran, and Syria.

"One of Miami Film Festival's core values is to bridge cultural understanding, to provoke thought and discussion, and 'The Dark Wind' is one of the most timely, moving and important films in this year's festival," Laplante said.

"It is essential that roadblocks not be put in place that will prevent artists from the free discussion of their work, and equally essential that the world's artists are made to feel welcome in the United States."

Hassan's move comes days after the Iranian star of the Oscar-nominated film "The Salesman" said she would boycott the upcoming Academy Awards to protest what she calls Trump's racist policies.

"Trump's visa ban for Iranians is racist. Whether this will include a cultural event or not, I won't attend the #AcademyAwards 2017 in protest," tweeted Taraneh Alidoosti, the film's 33-year-old lead actress. 

Trump's impending executive order on visas is expected to ban citizens of Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from seeking entry into the United States for a month.

He is also expected to suspend the US refugee program for four months as officials draw up a list of low risk countries.

The movie was inspired by the true-life massacre of thousands of Yazidis after IS took over the Sinjar area in Iraq in August 2014. Thousands of Yazidi women were abducted and turned into sex slaves during the IS campaign.

"The US are the closest and most important allies for Kurdistan," the film's producer Mehmet Aktas said in a statement.

"Now it seems to be impossible for a Kurdish artist to visit the US to present his work. As an act of peaceful protest, Hussein Hassan decided to withdraw from his visa application. We as Kurdish filmmakers hope that Donald Trump will acknowledge the Kurdish people," Aktas said.


Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Ocak 2017, 13:30