The Kurdish Film “Ax”
"Ax", or "The Land" in English, is a short Kurdish feature film directed by Kazim Oz in 1999. Oz has directed other popular works such as "Fotograf" and a 27 minute documentary "Destên Me Wê Bibin Bask Emê Bifirin Herin". Ax has won six awards in over four different countries. The film is also a 27 minute short that revolves around an old Kurdish man.
Despite the scanty dialogue the actions of the characters and the symbolism speak louder than any word could have done. An elderly Kurdish man, who is so devoted to his village, refuses to abandon it, even when the Turkish army invades it and forces people and families to migrate out of it. The man remains stubborn and vigilant for as long as he can.
A deafening silence ranges throughout the film. Even when it appears to have a dialogue going on, there's still an emptiness ringing through the air, a reminder of the desertion of the majority of the villagers. The silence serves as a great tool as the audience is constantly left with a feeling of incompleteness. People are used to seeing a movie with noises, talking, cars, singing, but not here. The lack of noise unsettles them, continuously emphasizing the lack of living souls and total emptiness.
"Ax" is a short story of a man and his memories of a village that, although never perfect, he cherishes.