A few words about the movie ‘Klamek Ji Bo Beko’

Nizamettin Ariç is a significant person in Kurdish music and cinema. Besime Şen’s book, “Devlet Piyasa Parti”, is a detailed study of the relationship between Kurdish music and Nizamettin Ariç. It is one of the works that evaluates this relationship very well. In the last part of the book, there are several chapters and interviews […]

A few words about the movie ‘Klamek Ji Bo Beko’
A few words about the movie ‘Klamek Ji Bo Beko’
  • Yayınlanma26 October 2023 10:25

Nizamettin Ariç is a significant person in Kurdish music and cinema. Besime Şen’s book, “Devlet Piyasa Parti”, is a detailed study of the relationship between Kurdish music and Nizamettin Ariç. It is one of the works that evaluates this relationship very well. In the last part of the book, there are several chapters and interviews about Nizamettin Ariç’s life, exploring the influence of the singer’s lyrics and Yerevan radio station on Ariç’s musical experience. The book includes important information about his years at TRT in Ankara, his performances in casinos in Istanbul, and the relationship between art and the political atmosphere of the time. In addition, Ariç had strong ties to Turkish cinema (Yesilçam) and the area, especially during the Istanbul period. During the 1980 coup, he acted in Sinan Çetin’s Bir Günün Hikayesi and Ahin Gök’s Kurban Oldugum. Due to the harsh conditions during the coup and the political pressure on the Kurdish language, culture, and art, he left Turkey and settled in Germany.

We can compare the artistic and political experiences of Nizamettin Ariç with those of Yılmaz Güney at some points. Both of them had a strong/defined relationship with Turkish art at first and then developed their understanding of art with their Kurdish identity or ideological baggage. Nizamettin Ariç says that he has been watching Yılmaz Güney’s films since childhood and that he is an important person for him and admires him. Moreover, the two Kurdish artists know each other from their time in Turkey and want to improve their relationship and focus on the Yol film project. Nizamettin Ariç says that Güney invited him under the pretext of a concert on Imraliye Island and asked him to participate in the film Yol. Here, Nizamettin Ariç and Yılmaz Güney talk about the script of Yol and discuss the script. However, due to certain circumstances, Ariç had at that time, this project did not come to fruition. Ariç explains that during the years of exile, Yılmaz Güney contacted him, sent him the script, and asked him to act in the film Yunan Bıçağı. Güney died in 1984, and the two Kurdish artists never worked on a joint project. But Yılmaz Güney has a great influence on Ariç’s experience, from his years in exile to the production and return of the film Klamek Ji Bo Beko.

This essay is about the film of the exile director Nizamettin Ariç called Klamek Ji Bo Beko. Like many exile directors, Nizamettin Ariç performs many functions in his film alone; he acts as director, lead actor, and screenwriter with Christine Kernich, score, and sound designer. Non-governmental organizations and the German government support the film.


Klamek Ji Bo Beko (1992) is known as one of the first Kurdish feature films. In the early 1980s, Nizamettin Ariç was arrested for singing a Kurdish song at a concert. His trial falls in the time of the 1980 coup and he finds in this situation the possibility to flee Turkey. He went to Germany in 1981 and was granted political asylum in 1984. Arich is unable to get to Kurdistan because he cannot shoot most of the film Klamek Ji Bo Beko on the border with Armenia. The film alternates between the perspectives of Beko (Nizamettin Ariç), who lives in exile in Berlin. Beko’s exile begins when his younger brother Cemal flees the Turkish army, joins the Peshmerga, and is murdered and killed here, after this incident/murder of his brother. Beko’s search for his brother leads him across the Euphrates River to Rojava Kurdistan and from there across the mountains to Southern Kurdistan. He begins to live with a group of Kurdish immigrants in a place that can be described as a camp surrounded by mountains. But this place is not an ordinary or neglected camp, but a plain forest surrounded by mountains and covered with meadows. In this camp, Beko has good relations with the Kurds of this place and becomes one of the inhabitants of the plain/zom and builds a close relationship with the child named Zîn. This place is located on the border with Armenia, which is similar to the mountains of Kurdistan. Therefore, every word of the immigrant Kurds and the practices of their daily life complete the Kurdish/Kurdistani landscape. When the voice of an old woman singing with a Kurdish pipe echoes in the mountains, the landscape of Kurdistan and Kurdish merge.

This plain/zom is like a campsite or a residential area that becomes the living place of the Kurds in this place. This place is a place of migration, it becomes a place of village life where practices such as shearing sheep, baking bread, gathering and collecting wood, and building walls are carried out. In these scenes, where the sounds of planes and guns come from the mountains, the children try to learn Kurdish. These sounds not only destroy the pastoral environment in the mountains of Kurdistan but also show why the Kurds have been displaced and why the children are helpless to learn Kurdish in the mountains. Therefore, the film reflects the reality of the Kurds under the occupation when it reflects and portrays the Kurdishness/position of the characters in these scenes. The life of the Kurds here – they are already amateur actors – this social and political attitude is even more/more affected by the slow and lengthy draw. Thus, Beko, who has left his village behind, finds his culture and identity here again. The situation here is not much different from the other side of the border. The reality of the people whose country is divided is the same on both sides of the border. What is wanted and pursued is the biopolitical control of the authorities over Kurdish bodies. Separated houses and families are the most obvious expression of the division of the Kurds.

In the film, Beko, together with the children in a cave, listens to the past of the children who fled the air raids and rely on this cave. In this scene, each child tells of the well-being of his family, the suffering he has experienced, and his story of resistance to the authorities. All of this returns, as does the fragmented memory of the Kurds that is revealed in the film. In other scenes, Beko helps villagers return to their village in a valley. Beko’s journey to his brother reflects the tragedy of the Kurds, which continues on the other side of the border. The years 1987-88, when Saddam killed Kurds with chemical weapons in Anfal, are shown and depicted. In these scenes, Beko watches helplessly as Iraqi helicopters drop orange gas that surrounds the entire village. As they run down, they come across the bodies of villagers, women, and children. There is absolute silence and only Zin has survived.

In the next scene, Zin (Arsenic Market) is seen in a Berlin hospital, and Zin is alive. At the end of the film, he learns that his brother has been captured and sent to the army. In the last scenes, his brother is killed in the military by a Kurdish youth defending his village. The history and misfortune of the Kurds is tragically repeated here. Beko’s brother dies and his village is destroyed. For Beko, there is no place, village, or country to return to. He no longer has fond memories of his village and its mountains. As with any exile, the place that remains in his memory is the place of his belief in memories. The impossibility of returning to the country hides in the memories and settles in the memories. The urban landscape of Germany forms and shows a sharp contrast to the pastoral landscapes of Kurdistan. Exactly in the middle of this tension, which has remained for Beko in exile, lies the continuation of his existence and his life.

This news was translated by AI Tools, edited, and published by Botan Times