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Behrouz Boochani's No Friend but the Mountains to be made into a film

4/11/2020 4:42 PM
Behrouz Boochani's No Friend but the Mountains to be made into a film

Behrouz Boochani’s award-winning book, No Friend but the Mountains, will be adapted into a film with an expected 2021 release.

Boochani, a Kurdish-Iranian writer, had his 2018 memoir published while he was kept in detention on Manus Island.

He wrote No Friend but the Mountains one text message at a time, which he sent to Australia.

These were then translated in collaboration with interpreter Moones Mansoubi and academic Omid Tofighian.

It shone a light on the experiences of asylum seekers on Manus Island, and won a number of awards, including Australia’s richest literary prize - the Victorian premier’s literary prize.

Boochani, and others involved in the project, hope the film adaptation will continue to highlight the lives of those stuck in detention centres.

'The most important thing is that we should share this story, and this story is not just my story … we should share this story in different languages, and cinema is a very important and powerful language,' he told Guardian Australia.

Boochani worked with Guardian Australia during his time in detention, with the media company reporting on human rights abuses that Boochani alerted them to. 

He was once placed in solitary confinement after reporting on a hunger strike.

Australian production companies Aurora Films, Sweetshop & Green and Hoodlum Entertainment will collaborate to create the film project, and filming will take place locally in Australia.

The project was initiated by Akos Armont, a writer and producer, and Antony Waddington, another producer.

Speaking of the project, Waddington said ‘Mountains is a defining tale for our time: not just for Australia, but how the world deals with refugees.'

Boochani fled Iran in 2013 when a newspaper he co-founded was broken into by revolutionary guards. He is currently living in New Zealand following his six years on Manus Island.

He is currently working on further creative and research projects.