BEYOND OUR DREAMS
Cast: Olivier Sitruk, Rosanna Vite Mesropian.
France-Armenia-Italy 2000 / 100m
French and Kirmanji with
Saleem's second feature tracks a young refugee couple's flight
from Kurdistan to hopeful sanctuary in Paris, braving travails
comic and tragic on their long, serpentine path. Already
struggling toward an uncertain destination at the outset,
childhood sweethearts Dolovan and Zara are first seen huffing
across the frozen Caucasian Mountains. Not by choice: Saying
"We have no country," Dolovan is resigned to the necessity of
leaving their lifelong village in Mesopotamia, where ethnic
strife has drawn a vicious line between local Kurds and their
suddenly intolerant neighbours. Zara is more reluctant, and
their odyssey starts very badly as her elderly parents,
lagging behind, are lost to the elements."
Cast: Saeed Mohamadi, Bahman Ghobadi,
Iran-Italy-Japan 2000 / 80m
Kurdistan, near the border with Iraq. A group of itinerant
teachers wander in search of pupils. After using their
blackboards, which they carry on their backs, to take cover
from an army helicopter, the group split up. One teacher, Saïd
(Saeed Mohamadi), encounters an old man who asks him to read a
letter from his son. Another, Reeboir (Bahman Ghobadi), meets
a party of boys carrying contraband stolen goods to be
smuggled across the border; he tries to persuade them to
accept him as a teacher.
THE BOY WHO STOPPED TALKING
Cast: Ercan Orhan, Halsho Hussain, Brader
Netherlands 1997 / 108m
Kirmanji and Dutch with
who's ever experienced the upheaval and sadness that comes
with leaving the place you've called home will appreciate the
charm and candour of this heartfelt family tale. For young
Memo, the concept of "home" is particularly significant since
he's a Kurd, a minority constantly in search of a homeland and
frequently dispossessed of the claims they stake. Memo is
perfectly content with his village life: goofing around with
his best friend Mustafa, tending the sheep and working as the
local postman. But when Memo's father, Hüsnü, suddenly returns
from Holland, Memo's life changes forever.
THE BURNING PARADISE
Cast: Parosh Muharam, Vian Azad, Mostafa Ahmad
Sweden 1999 / 80m
Sorani with English subtitles.
veterinarian tries to help a wounded boy who has been shot by
the Iraqi police as he tries to draw a swastika on Saddam
Hussein's poster. They flee from the city to the liberated
area. The veterinarian falls in love with the local mayor.
This starts a conflict with her family. The conflict goes on
until the Iraqi Army attacks the village.
Cast: Sherko Zen-Aloush, Benae Hassan,
Robina Quereshi, Laurie Ventry, Morag Caulder
Br 2001 /
examining the plight of asylum-seekers in Glasgow.
Joint-funded by Channel 4 and Scottish Screen, the film
explores the havoc wrought on Glasgow's Kurdish community by a
lone terrorist, motivated by racism and armed with a supply of
a deadly germ. It is launched amid continuing tension in the
Sighthill area of the city, which saw the murder of F¦rsat
Y¦ld¦z in August, followed by the stabbing of a second man two
Zeki Ökten / Y¦lmaz Güney
Cast: Tar¦k Akan, Melike
Demirag, Tuncel Kurtiz.
Turkey 1978 / 114m
tells the story of a family of nomadic shepherds destroyed by
their contact with modern civilization as they transport a
flock of sheep by train to Ankara. The central figure in the
film is the son who tries to heal the rifts caused by family
vendettas and to adapt to modern society. Eventually he is
destroyed - driven to inarticulate revolt and then promptly
beaten and arrested - just as the old patriarch is swallowed
up in the anonymity of sprawling present day Ankara.
JOURNEY TO THE SUN (15)
Cast: Newroz Baz, Nazmi Kirik, Mizgin
Turkey-Netherlands-Germany 1999 / 104m
with English subtitles.
THE SUN's central focus is the relationship between Mehmet, a
young Turk who has come to Istanbul to make a living, and the
older and more astute Berzan, a Kurdish political activist on
the lookout for new recruits to the Kurdish struggle for
independence. As their friendship evolves and deepens, the
extent of Berzan's political activism is unveiled. He is an
active participant in demonstrations in support of Kurdish
political prisoners on hunger strike in a Turkish jail, and is
also involved in recruiting young converts to Kurdish
THE PHOTOGRAPH (Fotograf)
Cast: Feyyaz Duman, Nazmi Kirik, Mizgin Kapazan,
Turkey 2000 / 66m
Kirmanji with English subtitles.
imaginatively shot and revealing film following the stories of
two young men travelling to Turkish Kurdistan by bus. They sit
next to each other, each of them hiding the reason for his
journey from the other. Who are they? Where are they going?
And why? A strange kind of proximity and warmth develops
between the two of them. The road, the cigarettes and the
discomfort they have shared leaves a trace that will
reverberate after their paths have separated.
Cast: Hussein Abdulah, Ahmet Guli, Falaha
Greece 2000 / 98m
Sorani with English
documentary maker Ioannou's feature film tells the story of
the desperate attempts of Kurdish refugees to cross Europe in
a documentary fashion. In the opening scene, Huseyin from
Iraqi Kurdistan crosses a river and minefield on his way
across hostile Turkey to find his brother, Ahmet, who has
vanished in Greece. Learning he left for Italy by an
overcrowded rubber raft, Hussein calls his father and ask him
to sell their house in the village to finance his search.The
film does not "feature" actors who portray the truth of
others' lives but rather follows unknown faces in their real
A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES (PG)
Cast: Nezhad Ekhtiar-Dini, Amaneh
Ekhtiar-Dini, Madi Ekhtiar-Dini.
Kurdistan-Iran 2000 /
Farsi and Sorani with English subtitles.
Kurdistan, very near the border with Iraq, five brothers and
sisters live at subsistence level. The younger boy has a
serious illness. The medicine he takes is expensive, and the
doctor says he has to be operated on soon to have a chance of
surviving. Despite the efforts of the eldest brother who takes
on lots of odd jobs, the family is unable to pay for the
operation. So, the elder sister accepts to marry an Iraqi who
is prepared to give them financial help for the operation.
However, the future spouse's family refuses to let the sick
boy cross the border.
(The Journey) (15)
Serif Gören / Yilmaz Güney
Cast: Tarik Akan, Halil Ergün,
Meral Orhonsay, Semra Uçar.
Turkey 1982 / 111m
with English subtitles.
notoriously brutal Turkish prison system undergoes a rare
moment of compassion in YOL. Five convicts are given a week's
leave from jail so that they may visit their friends, families
and lovers. Sadly, each of the men is confronted with tragedy,
disillusionment or both upon arriving home. Writer Y¦lmaz
Güney knew what he was talking about: he spent much of his
adult life in prison for various political activities. Using
the 'limited-leave' device as a launching pad, Güney uses the
journey to savagely skewer many of Turkey's antiquated
sociopolitical attitudes, notably the subjugation of women.