Spotlight: My Mother & I tells three generations of Yazidi women’s stories

    The work-in-progress project is the debut feature by director Dilpak Majeed and producer Marwa Tammam. Awarded by IDFA at Beirut Cinema Platform last month, My Mother & I portrays the remarkable existence of an aging mother and daughter who live in complete solitude with their 40 sheep near Dohuk, Iraq.

    “I saw an unfamiliar life inside that house and decided to portray the daily life of a Yazidi woman inside a Yazidi household. I wanted the world to see beautiful things about Yazidis, aside from the religion, ISIS, and the genocide,” says director Dilpak Majeed.

    “These two women have proven that we can find our dearest friends amongst animals, as they have said that all they have is their forty sheep. They are their neighbors, friends, family, and god.”

    Producer Marwa Tammam adds that My Mother & I tells the story of unseen women and is an attempt to preserve the memory of their faces.

    “It is a genuine story about the meaning of motherhood and family, about the relationship between humans and animals. There are many questions to be asked: How can people live among all this destruction and pain in the world? Is isolation an apparent choice that holds disappointments and bitterness inside? Are these two women refusing the outside world by trying not to know any of the circumstances? Or is it surrender, inner peace, and acceptance?”

    Senior Programmer Joost Daamen, who awarded the filmmaking team, notes that this project is a unique addition to the many films recently made about the Yazidi people. “This film comes from within and brings us three generations of strong, independent characters: a mother, a daughter, and the filmmaker,” he says.

    In winning the IDFA Spotlight Award, the filmmakers are invited to participate in the June and September sessions of the annual talent development program IDFA Project Space, in addition to receiving accreditation for IDFA 2023. Travel and accommodation are also included for the director of the project.

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