Cinemas of Conflict: A Framework of Cinematic Engagement with Violent Conflict, Illustrated with Kurdish Cinema

Kevin Smets


In an age of mediated conflict, the fields of media and communication studies need to critically address the increasingly important relation between film and violent conflict. The number of films dealing with violent conflicts is expanding, but scholars still struggle to find suitable frameworks to study them. Instead, concepts such as “accented” and “exilic” filmmaking are often used. Seeking to advance the study of film and violent conflict, and based on interdisciplinary insights, this article proposes a framework of cinematic engagement that takes the level of involvement of filmmakers as a key element of differentiation. The proposed framework is illustrated with examples from Kurdish cinema, which is deeply rooted in one of the longest-standing conflicts in the Middle East.


conflict, cinema, violence, war, Turkey, Middle East, Kurds

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