Actor Ali Avar: Letters from Shengal is a tribute to the guerrillas who saved the Yazidis

Ali Avar, the actor of the movie Letters from Shengal (Nameyên ji Şengalê), said that the movie tells of the resistance that stopped the genocide. Avar paid tribute to the guerrillas, saying that "this is their story."

The 80-minute film Letters from Shengal (Nameyên Şengalê), directed by Dersim Zerevan, will be screened for the first time in Celle on 3 August, the 9th anniversary of the genocide attacks against the Yazidi community. The film will then be shown in many European countries.

Ali Avar, who played the role of guerrilla Dilşêr Herekol in the film, said that it was the "martyrs" who brought them together for this film, and added: "This is their story."

Actor Avar said: "We couldn’t clearly show all the resistance in a documentary film. Until now, the suffering of the Kurds, mostly through art, was far ahead. But the resistance side has always been lacking in this area."

Underlining that the Kurds have resisted for hundreds of years, Ali Avar said: "This film shows a little of that. Undoubtedly, there was a massacre in Shengal. But on the other hand, there was also great resistance."

Avar said that comrade Dilşêr played an effective role in the resistance in Shengal, and added: "The people of Shengal still remember him with gratitude. It has become a symbol."

Dilşêr Herekol, one of the HPG commanders, took part in the historic resistance on Mount Shengal with 12 of his comrades to fight the genocidal attacks by ISIS gangs in Shengal on 3 August 2014. Dilşêr Herekol was martyred in a Turkish airstrike on 18 October 2020, at the foot of the Amanos Mountains in the Dörtyol district of Hatay.

Ali Avar said that it was difficult for him to play the role of Dilşêr in the movie, and added: "To be honest, we stayed in the same field with him and I didn't feel bad about it (…) However, I asked myself if I would be worthy of this role. I had some problems in this respect."

Ali Avar said that playing this role was a source of happiness on the one hand, but on the other hand it made him question himself about doing justice to this work. "We learned that comrade Dilşêr had fallen a martyr while we were still filming. This had a huge impact on me. It allowed us to feel the work more and to produce a better film."

Avar said that, while they were shooting the film, they could read the articles written by guerrilla Dılşêr during his stay in Shengal.

Dilşêr said that the fight came together with the arrival of the guerrillas from the mountains of Kurdistan and the arrival of the YPG/YPJ members from Rojava and said: "As a result of this resistance, Shengal was saved."

Pointing to the ongoing dangers, actor Avar said: "It is our martyrs who keep us alive. We should never forget them."