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Kurdish lover - review

2 October 2012 6:02 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Documentary directed by Clarisse Hahn shows a family struggling with its past and an overbearing matriarch

In-laws in films are generally used to comic effect. In the work of Clarisse Hahn they could form the basis for half a dozen tragedies and as many historical epics. The director's life-partner, Oktay Sengul (credited as assistant director), belongs to a Kurdish family from eastern Turkey. His parents emigrated to France and regularly return with their children to the little town where the clan settled after its village was razed. In the course of various visits Hahn has built up a meticulous family portrait, betraying deep affection but also a form of lucid effrontery.

Watching the great-grandmother in the first real sequence of Kurdish Lover it is immediately apparent this is no ordinary family album. Far from being a fairy godmother, the old woman is more like a wicked witch: mean, cruel to her daughter-in-law, »

- Thomas Sotinel

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