Collected Voices Film Festival 2020
John Center is a 67-year-old Jewish artist born in Chicago. John graduated from a woodcarving master’s program in Chicago. In an earlier life, John worked as a butcher, and he did some filmmaking. After his father died, his mother married an Armenian man who was orphaned as a child. Later on, John learned that his stepfather escaped the Armenian genocide after 1915 and came to the USA. Around the same time, other orphaned children came to the USA to escape the genocide. Ellen is John’s wife; whose grandmother’s family was in the Holocaust. Ellen’s occupation is preparing dead bodies for funerals. When Ellen talks about the Jewish genocide, she connects deeply to her family’s story. The last subject is Alan, a Kurdish man born in Iraqi Kurdistan in 1975. Alan, his three sisters, and his father were living in Halabja city in Kurdistan. On March 16, 1988, Saddam’s aircrafts attacked Halabja. Alan and his family saved themselves at the time by covering their bodies with wet blankets, and they protected their bodies from the GAZ attacks. Alan’s father left the family to attempt to help other victims of the attacks, but he never returned. Alan and his sister walked among the dead bodies, but they could not find their father’s dead body.