Yol

A harsh portrait of Turkey, its people and its authorities, shown through the stories of five prisoners given a week’s home leave, and the problems they encounter in adjusting to the world outside.

Jîn

A bitter conflict has raged between guerrillas and the army in Turkey’s Kurdish regions for over 30 years. Large expanses have now become war zones. Countless young people have lost their lives to the conflict. This dangerous but incredibly beautiful mountainous country is home to 17-year-old Jîn. But she is no longer safe since she secretly stole away from a group of rebels with whom she was fighting. Now she wanders the picturesque landscape alone, caught between two fronts. All of a sudden, the sound of gunfire and explosions rend the air above the untouched natural scenery. Attack is threatened from all sides. Desperate to find peace, Jîn decides to escape to another part of the country – an impossible plan, since the military is omnipresent and there are road blocks everywhere. As a Kurd without identity papers she risks arrest at every turn. In addition, as a woman with no family to shield her, many men will see her as fair game. But her courage is unbroken and the mountains are her greatest protectors. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

El Clásico

Two Kurdish little people in Iraq risk their lives to fulfill their dreams and that is to meet football hero Cristiano Ronaldo.

Mardan

Mardan is a serious, brooding officer who is called into action to investigate the disappearance of a young man. The man’s wife is extremely worried that foul play may be involved, as he was carrying a lot of cash, so Mardan sets out with the woman and her young boy to try to solve the mystery. [Synopsis courtesy of Toronto International Film Festival]

On the Way to School

One year in the life of a Turkish teacher, teaching the Turkish language to Kurdish children in a remote village in Turkey. The children can’t speak Turkish, the teacher can’t speak Kurdish and is forced to become an exile in his own country. On the Way to School is a film about a Turkish teacher who is alone in a village as an authority of the state, and about his interaction with the Kurdish children who have to learn Turkish. The film witnesses the communication problem emphasizing the loneliness of a teacher in a different community and culture; and the changes brought up by his presence into this different community during one year. The film chronicles one school year, starting from September 2007 until the departure of the teacher for summer holiday in June 2008. During this period, they begin to know and understand each other mutually and slowly.

Come to My Voice

In a remote Kurdish village in the mountains little Jiyan is worried about her father who has been arrested by the Turkish police as a suspected guerilla. He will only be released when his family surrenders his gun. The problem is: he has never possessed one. And so Jiyan’s grandmother Berfé has no choice but to set off in search of a weapon. A long march on foot leads Berfé and Jiyan through breathtakingly beautiful mountains to their relatives and beyond, into the unknown. On their journey Berfé displays courage and tenacity and Jiyan learns what it takes to survive in the adult world. [Synopsis courtesy of Berlinale]

Iraq In Fragments

An opus in three parts, Iraq In Fragments offers a series of intimate, passionately-felt portraits: A fatherless 11-year-old is apprenticed to the domineering owner of a Baghdad garage; Sadr followers in two Shiite cities rally for regional elections while enforcing Islamic law at the point of a gun; a family of Kurdish farmers welcomes the US presence, which has allowed them a measure of freedom previously denied. American director James Longley spent more than two years filming in Iraq to create this stunningly photographed, poetically rendered documentary of the war-torn country as seen through the eyes of Sunnis, Shiites and Kurds.

Before Snowfall

Before Snowfall starts with a dramatic escape: Eighteen year-old Nermin runs away from her wedding in a village in Iraqi Kurdistan. Being the elder of the family, her younger brother Siyar becomes responsible for finding her and restoring the family reputation. The mission proves a dangerous one for the inexperienced Siyar. First stop is Istanbul, where he meets Elvin, a young girl who becomes his travel companion. On the way from east to west, through Europe and all the way to Norway, Siyar comes to realize his own need for respect, and for love.