- Zare, de Hamo BEKNAZARIAN (Amo BEK-NAZAROV, Амо БЕК-НАЗАРОВ), Union Soviétique, 1926, muet, 35mm
April 16th, 1923 marks the day that Armenian cinema was born. Zare’s director, Hamo Beknazaryan, is one of the two important founders of Armenian cinema. It has been established that from the 13th century onwards, Kurds have been living in the Lachin region, also known as Red Kurdistan during the Soviet period. Yazidi Kurds, particularly from the 18th century onwards, settled here after having to leave Anatolia largely due to religious reasons. Zare, one of the most cherished films of Armenian cinema, is a Kurdish story that takes place in a Yazidi village similar to the one that appeared in Kurdish director Hiner Saleem’s acclaimed 2003 film, Vodka Lemon. This classic silent film is a tragic love story and is considered the first film in the history of Kurdish cinema to portray the Kurds on screen. The film’s backdrop is the start of the collapse of Russia’s Tsarist regime, with the 1917 revolution just around the corner. Zare, a Kurdish girl, and Seydo, a young shepherd, live in the same village and love each other. But they are faced with problems when the village lord Temur wants to take Zare as his second wife. Zare is a unique and silent gift from Hayastan to Kurdistan and will be celebrating its 85th birthday in Istanbul where the Kurdish artist Tara Jaff will accompany the film on the harp. (Mustafa Gündoğdu - Director of the London Kurdish Film Festival)
About the Director Hamo Beknazarian
Hamo Beknazarian was born in 1891 in Yerevan, Armenia. After the 1917 revolution, he went to Tbilisi where he developed a cinema department and started his directing career. In 1925, he shot his first Armenian film called Namus and moved to Armenia. Zare is his second Armenian film. He is one of two important founders of Armenian cinema alongside Daniel Dzuni. Beknazarian died in 1965 in Moscow.