Bernard-Henri Lévy: Independent Kurdistan will be a shining star
His new film is not just to draw world attention to the Kurds’ fight against terrorism but it is a call of support for Kurdish independence, said French writer and philosopher Bernard-Henri Lévy at the opening of his film The Battle for Mosul in Erbil Tuesday night.
“If I had to say what the main difference is between this and Peshmerga, it is that in this new movie I make a stronger plea not just for Kurdistan, but for the cause of the independence of Kurdistan.” Lévy said in a speech.
His film Peshmerga premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2015.
La bataille de Mossoul, narrated by the director himself with English subtitles, hit the silver screen in Erbil and was first seen by Kurdish officials, among them Prime Minister Nechirvan Barzani and foreign diplomats in the Kurdish capital.
Lévy said that his film was to pay tribute to the Kurds’ fight against terrorism and recognize the fact that despite centuries of persecution they still stand strong as a nation.
He said his film was to show that, “The Kurdish nation is persecuted for ages and condemned to death by ISIS jihadis, but this people have survived and their executioners are dead. This is one of the strongest elements of legitimacy of a nation.”
“So many of your enemies are in the grave,” Lévy said. “Tyrannies collapsed and the Kurdistan people are still standing.”
The first part of the film features the start of the Mosul offensive in October 2016 when the Kurdish Peshmerga attacked ISIS on several fronts and opened the way for Iraqi forces to enter the city.
Lévy and his crew accompanied Iraqi forces in parts of Mosul when they engaged the radical militants in house-to-house battles.
The Kurdish Peshmerga are the main characters of Levy’s new film when they liberate Christian and Yezidi towns and try to restore houses of worship, which Levy says must be acknowledged by the world.
“A lot of people in Europe say a Kurdish state means additional instability to the world, but I say the opposite,” said the French director.
“Stability is democracy and respect for others which are the commitments the people of Kurdistan.”
“A people whose soldiers climb a church with the cross, this people are able to be an additional stability.”
Lévy said he believes a future Kurdish state will be a shelter for all the members of the scattered nation around the world.
“I know there is political division inside Kurdistan which is good and is democracy, but when there is an independent state it will be a shining star on the hill for all the Kurds in the world and in the area.”
The film contains many scenes of death and heartbreak, but its director remains optimistic that the war the Kurds are fighting today will end with the birth of a state believing in universal values.
“An independent Kurdistan it will be a little state in size but big in value,” Lévy concluded. “There are many examples in the world. Many small states in size but big in value, fight and commitment,”
“And the Kurds fighting against ISIS is a sign that the moment will come and very soon I hope.”