Film of abducted Yazidi girl wins Dubai award

Film of abducted Yazidi girl wins Dubai award
An Iraqi Kurdish film about a Yazidi girl taken hostage by the Islamic State group in Iraq has won best feature at the Dubai International Film Festival.
2 min read
15 December, 2016
The film was directed by Kurdish director Hassan Hussein [Getty]

An Iraqi Kurdish film depicting the ordeal of a Yazidi girl taken hostage by the Islamic State jihadist group won best feature at the Dubai International Film Festival on Wednesday.

In "The Dark Wind", Kurdish director Hussein Hassan tells the tale of Pero and her fiance Reko, a young Yazidi couple preparing for their wedding when IS fighters attack their village.

Young Yazidi girls including Pero are abducted and sold into slavery but Reko - who works as a security guard at an American oil firm - escapes the attack.

Devastated, he sets off in search of his fiancee and his family.

The 92-minute feature - an Iraqi-German-Qatari co-production - made its regional premiere at the glitzy emirate's annual cinematic event.

It vied against 17 other films in the main competition of the festival, which screened more than 150 titles from 55 countries this year.

The Dubai event has become a major regional showcase for films from the Arab world, especially after a festival in its sister emirate Abu Dhabi ended two years ago.

Thousands of Yazidis were massacred when IS took over the Sinjar area in Iraq in August 2014 and thousands of Yazidi women abducted and turned into sex slaves.

Yazidi community leaders said up to 3,000 Yazidi women may still be at the hands of the militants across the "caliphate" they proclaimed more than two years ago over parts of Iraq and Syria.

The UN has called the massacres a genocide, arguing that IS had planned them and then intentionally separated men from women to prevent Yazidi children from being born.

The Kurdish-speaking minority are not Muslim or Arab like their neighbours, and are mostly based around Sinjar mountain, between the city of Mosul and the Syrian border.

It practices its own religion, a unique blend of faiths which is rooted in Zoroastrianism but borrows from Islam, Christianity and other beliefs.

Agencies contributed to this report.