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BEFORE SNOWFALL is a road movie that becomes an odyssey from East to West for young Siyar, a village-boy from Iraqi-Kurdistan. His journey begins when his older sister, Nermin, flees her wedding. Siyar's father is dead, and as the eldest son, he is obliged to set out to find his sister and restore his family honour in the local village. In Istanbul he meets the young girl Evin. They travel together. Their journey through Greece, Germany (Berlin) and Norway makes Siyar's search for his sister a search for dignity and love. Written by
Thriller-like roadmovie with an untraditional hit-man
This is a much acclaimed second feature film, a road movie about a travel across Europe, from Norwegian film maker Hisham Zaman, which got a lot of recognition of his multiple prize winning short "Bawke". He won even more prizes with his feature debut, "Winterland". Zaman is originally from Kurdistan, but grew up in Norway after arriving as a teenager, and graduated from the Norwegian Film Academy in Lillehammer in 2004. So he knows the area, Kurdistan, which is the area from which the Kurds Kim from, situated both in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Turkey in the Middle East.
The film start off with 16 years young Siyar in Iraqi Kurdistan being wrapped in plastic, and sunk into a stinking greasy oiltank truck, before he is smuggled across the Turkish border to find his 18 year old sister, which has run off from her own father-decided wedding. When he finds her, he is going to kill her, to make right the family honor. It's his obligation, as his father has just died, and he is now the man of the house.
A strange situation to us Westerners, but then that's what this kind of films are fire - telling us what goes on around the world. From the poor areas in Iraq Siyar feels obliged to follow the traditions of family honor, which makes him go on a trip to what for him is so completely different world. Traveling through Europe, ending up in Northern Norway. It's important to understand the situations leading up to immigration as well as understanding reactions as well as what's behind someone fleeing as well as how situations are around in poorer regions if the world. The film shows both humanity as well as the opposite in a cold world.
This film was nominated for six Amanda awards at the Norwegian International Film Festival, as well as winning the neat sum of 1.000.000 NOK as best Nordic Film at the 32nd Gothenburg Film Festival, and the winner of Best Photography (Marius Matzow Gulbrandsen) at the TriBeCa Film Festival in 2013. Hisham Zaman is a very talented film maker, and this road movie is up among the most interesting of this kind I've seen. And it's just that good! It's really beautifully filmed, in all ways.
This is the first Zaman-feature I've seen, though I saw the shirt "Bawke" before this, and I'll be sure to check out the rest.
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