Switzerland 1992. 35mm Blow-up, colour, 90 min.

Image: Sertschawan Image: Sertschawan Image: Sertschawan

"Sertschawan" is a kurdish greeting and form of oath. Welcome, "On my eyes"; that is how Omar Chavari would have greeted us had we ever set foot in his bakery. He fled from Halabja with youngest son Shivan in the wrong direction and since then has been used by the media to prove the effectiveness of chemical weapons. A media-worthy photo. Millions of readers and TV-viewers are familiiar with it: a man hiding his head against a cornerstone, cradling a sleeping child in his left arm. Everyone know about Saddam, but none has heard of Omar. We wanted to get to know Omar, Shivan, Beriwan, Chaled, Gulistan and all the others. We met them in the town of Oshnu anmd Sardasht, in the camp at Ziveh, in the villages at the fot of the massif that divides up Kurdistan between Iran, Iraq and Turkey. The town obf Halabja was wiped out. The Kurds live on. Sertschawan.

DirectorHans Stürm und Beatrice Michel
ScriptHans Stürm und Beatrice Michel
WithIranische und irakische Kurden
PhotographyHans Stürm
SoundBeatrice Michel
EditingHans Stürm
MusicKurdische Musik
Duration90 min.
Screening formats35mm Blow-up
Shooting format16mm
Versionsdeutsch, franz. UT
ReleaseAugust 1992
FestivalsSolothurn 1993
Contact, World RightsBeatrice Michel
Konradstrasse 81, CH-8005 Zürich
+41 44 272 07 06
ProductionFilmkollektiv Zürich