My fight is against ISIS: Kurdish filmmaker Lisa Calan

by NewsWire
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Kurdish filmmaker Lisa Calan who is the chief guest at the 23rd edition of the International Film Festival in Kerala (IFFK) has said that her fight is against the Islamic State (ISIS). She was interacting with media persons here on Tuesday.

The Kurdish filmmaker who lives in Turkey had lost both her legs in an ISIS bomb attack in Turkey on June 5, 2015, while participating in a People’s Democratic Party election rally just two days before the Turkish general elections.

She said that in the blast five people lost their lives and several people were injured. Lisa said that several filmmakers came to her support and they started a campaign to raise funds for her treatment abroad titled, “Let’s be arms and legs to each other”.

She said that after the attack her willpower increased and her strength and resolve to come back have become immense. The filmmaker said that she had got a job in Diyarbakir City Hall after the attack, but she was fired from the post as part of the repression by the Turkish government.

The filmmaker said that the attack on her was portrayed as an attack on women and her very presence with prosthetics is a clear message to the perpetrators of violence, the ISIS. Lisa Calon said that she is now much tougher mentally and would do more and more films bringing out the political realities in Turkey.

Lisa said that she can stand on her legs because of the resolve of the Kurdish people and even if the Turkish government under Erdogan was employing all tactics to suppress voices of dissent, the Kurdish people will raise their voices.

She said that the Turkish regime under Recep Tayyip Erdogan is repressing the Kurdish people and that the situation in that country was not good for independent filmmakers, artists, writers, poets and musicians, and other creative people.

When asked whether she expects the formation of an independent Kurdistan, she said that she expects that Kurdistan would become a reality one day. The filmmaker said that most of the Turkish movies are not very political and do not reflect the mind of the people.

Lisa said that “The Turkish government has abandoned the Kurdish cinema, the Kurdish language, and our motherland but we cannot make cinema without speaking about political issues in our cinema. However, the Turkish cinema does not have such a viewpoint and they are very radical.”

The filmmaker said that she was in the process of making a documentary about the survivors of bomb attacks in Turkey and added that there were many who had lost limbs and had been in bed after the bomb attacks of ISIS. She added that she would also try an autobiographical movie in which she will depict the trauma she had undergone including the painful surgeries that she was subjected to in Germany, Australia, and Turkey as well as the struggle to come up after the bomb attack had fatally damaged her legs.

She said that she is now seeing life from the common man’s perspective and earlier it was through the lens of the upper class that she had viewed the society.

Lisa said that she was thankful to the Kerala Government and Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan to have given her the Spirit of Cinema award and for the honour at the IFFK venue in Thiruvananthapuram.

It may be recalled that she was given the first ‘Spirit of Cinema’ award at the IFFK venue by Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on March 18, the inaugural day.

Her movie ‘Language of the Mountains’ was also screened at the festival.


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