Danny Darren arrived in the UK in 1997 as a refugee and has since become a director, actor and producer based in London. Originating from Kurdistan he has crossed many borders and encountered many hardships in search of a better life.
He recalls the memory of leaving his country after the barbaric attack inflicted by Saddam Hussein on the Kurdish population in which the dictator terrorised and brutally tested chemical and biological weapons on his own citizens.
Growing up in a world where children and teenagers were used to living in constant fear of bombings and conflict, he has found a cathartic solace in writing scripts and has recently produced his first feature film 1603.
His desire to tell the world about the atrocities inflicted by one single man was so strong that he has taken the plunge and sold his own property in Kurdistan to invest in the making of 1603 with release at a later date in the UK.
“If you want to achieve your dreams fight for it and don’t give up, you will face the hardest concrete wall in front of you but you have to break [it] and doesn’t matter what it takes, you will break it one day.”
He approaches the film 1603 with similar spirit and determination, sharing in this interview about how necessary it was to rewrite drafts of the script 22 times before production could begin. He throws everything into the mix and delves into his past to create compelling characters that echo his childhood.
The thrilling backdrop of the film is designed to challenge the audience to confront the subjectivity of humanity and also reflect on the atrocities of the 16th March, a date very much embedded in the minds of the Kurdish population.
The striking air shots of the emblematic monument in the centre of the city of Halabja as well as the sense of urgency running throughout the film keep us right on the edge of our seats.
Through his lens we appreciate the area’s natural beauty, so carefully crafted and so aesthetically pleasing.
We see a region ‘weaponized’ by Halabja’s youngsters and Danny Darren raises questions in his interview with the thought provoking slogan phrase “There is only one thing worse than terrorism, politics.”
A question mark for us all to think about…