Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, is now sheriff in Erbil, the capital city. No longer feeling useful in this society now at peace, he thinks about quitting the police force, but ... See full summary »
Since his beloved violin was broken, Nasser Ali Khan, one of the most renowned musicians of his day, has lost all taste for life. Finding no instrument worthy of replacing it, he decides to confine himself to bed to await death.
Maria de Medeiros
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Baran, a Kurdish independence war hero, is now sheriff in Erbil, the capital city. No longer feeling useful in this society now at peace, he thinks about quitting the police force, but instead agrees to be stationed in a small valley, at the very borders of Iran, Turkey, and Iraq. It is a lawless territory, right at the heart of illegal drug, medication and alcohol trafficking. Having arrived in the small village, he refuses to bow down to Aga Azzi, the seriously corrupt tribal chief and absolute ruler of the area. Baran meets Govend, the village school teacher, who is also rejected by the villagers. Like Baran, she represents another law, that of the young and autonomous Kurdish state. Govend is all the more vulnerable as she is not a married woman. Written by
Best movie of the week! This marvelously shot film will probably end up in my "best of 2014" list. Hiner Saleem brings us a beautiful blend of spaghetti western and political drama, not without some witty humor and satire. Genre-bending cinema always scores high with me, especially if it has such a wonderful aesthetic. The landscapes of Eastern Turkey and Northern Iraq are magical in their desolation and fierceness. On top of the majestic cinematography and the brilliant playing on genres, the acting of Korkmaz Arslan and Golshifteh Farahani is superb and the soundtrack (including the music played on the Hang) is one that I would listen to for hours on end. The film reminded me of Tepenin ardi, a Turkish western tragedy directed by Emin Alper, which also had this wonderful aesthetic. Since I saw Tepenin ardi I realized there's more to Turkish cinema then the commercial Yeşilçam industry and the art-house master Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Hiner Saleem might do this for Iraqi cinema. Or must I say Kurdish cinema? 'Cause let's be fair: this movie breaths Kurdish sentiment and passion through all its veins; Saleem might have more in common with the Turkish Kurd Yılmaz Güney (Yol) and the Iranian Kurd Bahman Ghobadi (Turtles Can Fly and No One Knows About Persian Cats). In any case, My Sweet Pepper Land is a masterful film that didn't get the attention and distribution it so obviously deserves.
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