"Kurdish-American director Jano Rosebiani has the honor of making the first important feature to emerge from the Kurdish Regional Government area in northern Iraq."
-David Lipfert, The Guide to Alternative New York
"Jiyan is a somber and haunting, yet affectionate, charming, and celebratory portrait of human courage, community,
dignity, and resilience."
-Senses of Cinema - Strictly Cinema School (SFS)
"An accomplished and moving feature from writer-director Jano Rosebiani."
-Channel Four, London
"Jiyan is a beautiful film, as cherish-able as a late spring bloom."
-The Daily Telegraph
"Lyrical and poetic, enchanting and life-enhancing, a subtle interweaving of elements, a tapestry."
-Adrian Bailly, Pertier Media, Liverpool, UK
"An authentic, compassionate and valuable expression of witness, memory and shared humanity."
-Gareth Evans, 46th London Film Festival
"Jiyan gives a human face to the massacre, which despite its magnitude drew only subdued attention from the international community... Rosebiani's drama nonetheless provides moving, often poetic testimony to the tragedy and to the will of the devastated people to heal and rebuild."
-David Rooney, Variety
"The film takes us to the center of the volcano, so to speak, with a film whose heart and soul are as big and beautiful as the eyes of its brightest star, Pisheng Berzinji, as the orphan Jiyan, 10... not to mention the whole assortment of delightful characters who populate this drama, some who'll make you smile, some who'll make you cry, and all who will make you care."
-John Dolen, South Florida Sun-Sentinel
"Filmed with a patient, lyrical humanism plainly inspired by such Iranian masters as Kiarostami and Panahi, Jiyan manages to unflinchingly address the horrors man can inflict upon his fellows without surrendering to cynicism or despair."
-28th Seattle International Film Festival
"Rosebiani... manages to keep his storytelling spry, humorous and as uplifting as it is heartbreaking, while taking us through a litany of the town’s ills."
-Eric Moore, Philadelphia Festival of World Cinema
"Jiyan is a symbol for Kurdish survival - for the vulnerability of the nation but especially, for its optimism regarding life; the flowers of the protagonist contrast with her scarred face. Jano Rosebiani does not seek revenge, even if one senses his bitterness. He is equally interested in the insecurity the future holds as he is in the poetry and the vitality of the orphans. This dualism is the source of the film's poetic lyricism, of its opening and closing images."
-19th Jerusalem Film Festival
"Seeing a film like Jiyan reminds you why you want to be in film making in the first place. It has all the ingredients that make a memorable and fantastic film. [Cinematographer] Koutaiba’s genuine eye for the beauty and hardship on the faces of the Kurdish people is very impressive indeed... Truly inspiring films like Jiyan should be cherished and talented filmmakers like Jano Rosebiani should be embraced."
-Jaab Menes, Talking Pictures, London
"Stop reading this right now, reach out to your pen, post it paper, write it out, J-I-Y-A-N, and place it somewhere visible in your office or study till you either see it in a movie theater or rent it out from a video outlet."
-Kani Xulam, The American Kurdish Information Network (AKIN)