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Kurdish Women in Soviet Film

Film booklet: Zare: pervaia kartina iz zhizni kurdov [Zare. The first motion picture about the life of the Kurds].

Moscow: Kinopechat‘, 1927. Quarto (18 × 27 cm). Original photo-illustrated staple-stitched wrappers; 6 pp. Light overall wear and creasing; still about very good.

The harsh realities of the lives of Kurdish women are emphasized in this promotional pamphlet for the Soviet silent drama “Zare” which premiered in Yerevan, in Soviet Armenia in 1926. The pamphlet includes the film synopsis, an essay by the director Hamo Beknazarian (1891-1965) about the making of the film, as well as a film review. The director, who also wrote the script for the picture, places special emphasis on the lives of Kurdish women, noting in the pamphlet that “they work more than their men”, and are subjected to harsher social censure. The life of Zare, who is defamed by her community after refusing to marry a man she does not love is presented as an example. The Soviet silent film star Maria Tadevosian (1903-1930), who played the role of Zare appears on the cover of the pamphlet. Zare was only the third feature to be filmed at the new Armenfilm studios, and is exemplary of the early Soviet promotion of “internationalism” and “women’s emancipation”.

The poster for the film was designed by the famous avant-garde artist Vladimir Senberg, who also designed posters for Battleship Potemkin and The Man With the Movie Camera. Hamo Beknazarian’s previous film, “Shor and Shorshor” (1926), an extremely popular comedy about the misadventures of two village fools, is advertised on the rear wrapper of the pamphlet. Publisher advertising to last page.

As of February 2021, KVK, OCLC show only one copy, at Yale.

Book ID: 51227

Price: $450.00