Behrouz Boochani’s biography, No Friend But The Mountains, written from a mobile phone in prison, is set to be made into a feature film.
Aurora Films, Sweetshop, and Green and Hoodlum Entertainment are producing the adaptation, which will primarily be filmed in Australia.
Behrouz Bouchani’s 2018 non-fiction account of his time in Manus Island Prison will be adapted into a feature film, with production beginning in mid-2021.
The book is an agonising biography of Bouchani’s journey from Indonesia to Manus Island, where he was incarcerated for six years. The Kurdish Iranian writer and journalist was awarded Australia’s richest literary prize, the Victorian Premier’s Literary Prize and the National Biography Award for his work, which was typed out in Farsi via text messages to a translator.
Boochani aims to communicate the horrors of systematic torture within the prison system with his account of daily routines, traumatic incidents and the lives and deaths of the other prisoners.
“What the Australian government has done, in Manus and Nauru and still continues this policy – we should share this story in different languages – and cinema is a very important and powerful language,” the writer told The Guardian.
Bouchani interlaces various styles of writing, dispersing noisy, chaotic scenes amongst quiet moments of reflection, wonder and sometimes triumph. As a whole, the narrative is an exhibition of the fundamental flaws of human nature, desperation and resilience against an inhumane discipline system.
“The Australian government always tries to hide the truth – and they should know that now the story is a big story,” he said in an interview.
“It’s not only my story, it’s our story.”