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 ...
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In a war ridden country a woman watches over the husband reduced to a vegetable state by a bullet in the neck, abandoned by Jihad companions and brothers. One day, the woman decides to say things to him she could never have done before.
In a remote, isolated Yazidi Kurdish village in post-Soviet Armenia, Hamo, a widower with a pitiful pension and three worthless sons, travels daily to his wife's grave. There he meets the ... See full summary »
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In Paris' cosmopolitan and colorful 10th arrondissement, Philippe, who's fresh out of prison, crosses paths with Avdal, a Kurd who is trying to track down an Iraqi war criminal. Avdal, who ... See full summary »
During the war between Iran and Iraq, a group of Iranian Kurd musicians set off on an almost impossible mission. They will try to find Hanareh, a singer with a magic voice who crossed the ... See full summary »
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
Swiss censorship certificate # 1009.573. See more »
[All goofs for this title are spoilers.]
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You're too brave to accept this.
No one wanted this village. And the children here, they needed education. I like it here. I like the children.
No one forced you.
No. I always wanted to study till I was 26. And now, I feel too old for here.
How old are you?
28. But I got one thing. If you're not married at this age, people think there's something wrong with you.
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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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