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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
Surprising road movie passing a variety of cities and landscapes, driven forward by an Iraqi-Kurdistan village boy to kill his sister who fled from an arranged wedding
Saw this at the Noordelijk film festival 2014 in Leeuwarden (The Netherlands). Surprising road movie (usually I don't like road movies, but this was different) that worked as a guided tour through very many very different countries and cities. Also surprising was the stubbornness of Siyar. He had just a single purpose in mind, namely to kill his sister, only because the family's honor was at stake. According to his logic and his tribal background rooted in ancient traditions, he "must" do this.
The journey brings him (and us) on a variety of places thereby using a variety of vehicles. That "variety" is perfectly illustrated in the opening scene, showing him wrapped up in plastic and being hidden in an oil tank, to get him smuggled across the Turkish border. But that is just the beginning...
The Q&A after the screening revealed some interesting details: The director explained that he wanted to make a movie like this for a long time. He just needed a compelling reason for traveling over such a distance. The first reason was found in the enormous personal drive that stopped at nothing, just as we saw here demonstrated, coming forth from ancient traditions and tribal morals. Secondly, he met some people from a village like we saw, after which it suddenly appeared to him that an honor killing quest was the perfect carrier for this journey, providing for aforementioned personal drive. By the way: the "villagers" we saw did not live there anymore, but became wealthy and moved to the city. For this film they got appropriate costumes and came back to the village where they were born, to appear in this movie and provide for the necessary local folkloric environment.
In conclusion, very glad to have seen this one. The festival visitors found likewise, and rewarded an above average score of 9.2. As a result, this movie ranked 2nd (out of 64).
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