Kulajo: My Heart is Darkened is the story of a national tragedy – the Kurdish genocide – as experienced by one tiny remote farming community in Iraqi Kurdistan. Kulajo was one of thousands of Kurdish villages targeted by Saddam Hussein’s regime during the murderous Anfal campaign in Iraq in 1988.
In the film the survivors tell their extraordinary stories: their homes were bombed and bulldozed, their possessions stolen. Villagers gave birth in prison, survived firing squads, starved in death camps and fled to Iran before eventually coming home. By the end of the year, half this tiny community of 300 people were dead.
Kulajo: My Heart is Darkened was produced using testimonies gathered by The Kurdistan Memory Programme and RWF World’s extensive film archive, filmed by Gwynne Roberts from 1980 onwards.
The film’s executive producers are Gwynne Roberts and Sadie Wykeham, who won an Emmy Award for Saddam’s Road to Hell (PBS), and it was directed by Helena Appio and produced by Joel Wykeham. It was screened at ‘Beyond Borders’ during the Edinburgh Festival, and at UNSPOKEN, the Human Rights Film Festival in New York.