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Seven Essays

Studies in Literature, Drama, and Film

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Abdulla M. Al-Dabbagh

In Seven Essays: Studies in Literature, Drama, and Film, Abdulla Al-Dabbagh’s unique approach to literary and cultural issues succeeds in casting new light on these subjects, revealing innovative fields of research and investigation. Expressed in his usual lucid and eloquent style, this collection of essays deals with themes and topics raised in Al-Dabbagh’s first two books, Literary Orientalism, Postcolonialism, and Universalism (Lang, 2010) and Shakespeare, the Orient, and the Critics (Lang, 2010). These essays also embrace further exploration in the area of literary criticism and literary theory and venture into the area of film studies. Whether discussing the drama of Shakespeare and Ibsen, Kurdish cinema, or issues of contemporary literary criticism and theory, scholars will find Al-Dabbagh’s fresh compilation of literary studies an essential contribution to the field.
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Chapter 2. Language and Identity in the Renaissance of Kurdish Cinema

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LANGUAGE AND IDENTITY IN THE RENAISSANCE OF KURDISH CINEMA

The topic of this paper raises many of the themes that are currently at the center of the preoccupation of literary and socio-political studies worldwide—themes and topics like globalism and globalization, immigration and migration, diasporas and “hybridity”, cultural co-existence and cultural conflict, marginalization and discrimination, racism and sexism, and, as it sadly becomes more bloody, murders and massacres, war and genocide. It is my hope to demonstrate that the medium of film, and specifically the films of contemporary Kurdish directors, provides as rich and as powerful an expression of these topics as those provided by the more widely discussed genres of literature. Kurdish cinema, as testimony to its astounding achievement, has, in a very short period of time, increasingly caught the attention of academic scholars (see particularly Gugler, 29–30 and Shafik, 43, 238–40).

A panel of major international film specialists, towards the end of the last century, named Abbas Kiarostami (b. 1940) as the most important film director of the 1990s in the world. This is an indication of the impact of what has now come to be called the Iranian Film Renaissance has had on world cinema. Kiarostami’s films were described as powerful not only for the wisdom and lyricism that they displayed, but also for their profound insight into the nature of the art of cinema generally, and he has been identified as “one of...

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