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My Sweet Pepper Land (2013)

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1:51 | Trailer
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 »

Director:

Hiner Saleem

Writers:

Hiner Saleem (scenario & dialogue), Antoine Lacomblez (collaboration)
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5 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Korkmaz Arslan ... Baran
Golshifteh Farahani ... Govend
Suat Usta Suat Usta ... Reber
Mir Murad Bedirxan ... Tajdin
Feyyaz Duman ... Jaffar Mohammed Emin
Tarik Akreyî Tarik Akreyî ... Aziz Aga
Véronique Wüthrich Véronique Wüthrich ... Nîroj
Mizgin Gemo Mizgin Gemo ... Zirek
Kamiran Betasi Kamiran Betasi ... The Judge
Adil Abdolrahman Adil Abdolrahman ... The Commisionner (as Adil Abdulrahman)
Bahman Haci Bahman Haci ... Sadu (as Bahman Haji)
Nezar Selami Nezar Selami ... The Commisionner (as Nizar Salami)
Sivan Salim Sivan Salim ... Govend's Father (as Shivan Salim)
Yilmaz Özdil Yilmaz Özdil ... The Hanged Man (as Yilmaz Ozdil)
Hiner Saleem ... The Photographer
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Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A Kurdish western!

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Iraq | France | Germany

Language:

Kurdish | Arabic | Turkish

Release Date:

27 March 2014 (Germany) See more »

Also Known As:

Aga See more »

Filming Locations:

Kurdistan, Iraq See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

€2,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Swiss censorship certificate # 1009.573. See more »

Goofs

[All goofs for this title are spoilers.] See more »

Quotes

Baran: You're too brave to accept this.
Govend: No one wanted this village. And the children here, they needed education. I like it here. I like the children.
Baran: No one forced you.
Govend: No. I always wanted to study till I was 26. And now, I feel too old for here.
Baran: How old are you?
Govend: 28. But I got one thing. If you're not married at this age, people think there's something wrong with you.
See more »

Soundtracks

Baby I Don't Care (You're So Square)
Written by Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
Performed by Elvis Presley
(1957).
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A classic western from Kurdistan
16 August 2014 | by rubenmSee all my reviews

Anyone who reads international news reports, knows that Iraqi Kurdistan is now in the centre of major geopolitical developments. Kurdish fighters, called peshmerga, are trying to repel the radical Islamic State, with the assistance of the US.

It's interesting background information, because 'My Sweet Pepper Land' is a film about a peshmerga fighter. The film is set in the period after the war against Saddam Hussein. The Iraqi Kurds have created their own, autonomous region and are trying to rebuild law and order. Former peshmerga fighter Baran takes part in that effort, not so much because of idealistic reasons, but to get away from his mother who is desperate to arrange a marriage for her son. He gets a job as the new police officer in a remote village near the Turkish border.

On his way to the village, which can only be reached on foot or on horseback because of a destroyed bridge, he meets another new government official: Govend, the pretty school teacher. She is also trying to escape an arranged marriage, set up by her father.

But the villagers are not keen on education for their children, nor on law enforcement. They rather rely on protection from a local criminal, who arranges illegal smuggling activities in the remote, mountainous area. Soon, both Baran and Govend clash with this man. Against all odds, they stubbornly defend what they think is right.

The director was clearly influenced by the classic westerns. He cleverly inserts western elements in this Kurdish setting. The horses, the hats, the long, fur-lined coats, the guns everyone is carrying - it makes Kurdistan look like the American wild west. The story itself is of course a classic western theme: a lone man fights for justice in a hostile environment, and at the same time provides protection for the local beauty.

The mix of Kurdish and western elements make this a nice and enjoyable film. It also provides insight in the Kurdish culture and history. The opening scene for example is at the same time hilarious and tragic: it shows how officials from the new Kurdish government clumsily try to hang a criminal. The man is standing on a ballot box with the rope around his neck.

One last remark: the soundtrack partly consists of beautiful music played by school teacher Govend on a very distinct musical instrument. You're inclined to think that this is a traditional Kurdish instrument, but actually it is a Hang, a Swiss invention from 2001.


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