Ferhad Pirbal, from Academy to Acting
Ferhad Pirbal, the seven-masked man in (6+1) film
To sum up the stages of Ferhad Parball's life, his lifestyle and personal demeanor in a report is a challenging task. He’s a lecturer at the Salahadin University in the Kurdistan Region’s capital Erbil. Pirbal has published 76 books that include research, poetry, short stories and novels. To be more concise, Ferhad Pirbal wanders as ordinary people in the street, talks and eats with his friends, but when expressing his opinion, he never appears like the ordinary people. He speaks the language of the old farmers or ordinary people and villagers of Erbil. He often tries to criticize the authority. In his actions, he puts smile on peoples’ faces and at the same moment raises important questions.
Pirbal was born in Erbil. He was sent out by the Kurdistan Revolution to Sorbon - France in the mid-eighties and got PhD in literature. He was the first Kurdish author and intellectual to return to Kurdistan after the 1991 Spring uprising of Kurdistan. He has intended to start a literary and cultural revolution here; he has always wanted to be himself. In the meetings and the public gatherings, he doesn’t only want to address his audience, but also performs a kind of acting which grabs the audience’s attention. This might be his major motivation to choose acting and have a role in a film called (6+1) which is due to be screened on 1 July in cinemas here in the capital.
Ferhad Pirbal told The Kurdish Globe that neither university lecturing, novel, poetry, short story nor writing was enough to keep him occupied, that’s why taking part in a film was the challenging major he was looking for. Regarding choosing this field and the opportunity given to him, he said: “I’m nothing without the Kurdish director Ali Hassan, he’s been working in this field for long, and I would say that working with Hassan and his group, and my participation for the first time in a film will be a new landmark for the Kurdish cinema.” He hopes that he will be able to work with the director in the coming film called (Hotel Europe).
Regarding the plot of the film, Ferhad Pirbal stated to The Kurdish Globe that it’s based on one of his unpublished novels called (Awakening Father).
Ferhad went on taking about the title of the film (6+1) and said that there are seven identical characters, they’re looking for one person, but in reality all the seven people are one. When they think, any of them is inside the other though they cannot recognize each other or identify that all the six characters are one person, the seventh. All of them have only one mask, which belongs to one person. Actually this is a philosophical matter: “I was inspired by the (Bird’s Utterance); stories of the Iranian writer Faraydoon al-Attar."
Directing such a work is not an easy task in Kurdistan. A philosophical matter, seven persons moving around within one person, creates problems. The director is on one side, and the main actor, who’s the writer of the plot, thinks of another aspect. Ferhad Pirbal as the major character of the film says: “Our problem with the director was that he thought the story and the film were surrealis- tic, while I wrote the story as a philosophical matter. I play roles of all the six characters of (6+1), my appearance isn’t important for the audience, but they want to know what’s going on in my dream, mind and fantasy. I’ve tried to build a new and special audience in the Kurdish cinema, an audience who can perceive things consciously.”
Dr. Ferhad Pirbal, who’s a university lecturer in Kurdistan, is performing a hard task by performing because there are certain people that think such a person should not involve in acting in the cinema. Pirbal sings, tells jokes and laughs, but in such mandominating society, public figures should behave accordingly: talk a little and even laugh formally. “I’ve given up academic work and will devote my time to cinema. I want to be a person in the Kurdish society who firmly believes in cinema, with a strong and deeply-held beliefs. Even if I failed, it would be much better than lying around and not achieving success. However, I will not fail if I can have a film like (6+1) each year.”
Ferhad Pirbal is adventurous. Every now and then he presents something new. He says confidently that he ventures for a more beautiful and conscious world.
A university lecturer and a new Kurdish actor could be one of the amazing characters of 2014 in the Kurdish cinema, literature and culture. We repeatedly hear that this is Ferhad again, doing something unexpected and taking another controversial step… some criticize him and some others raise doubts about him, but a few believe that invention has never been realized without adventure, critique, denial and sacrifice. Let’s see if Dr. Ferhad Pirbal becomes the splendid hero of the Kurdish cinema or ……!