Film Archive

  • All


International Programme 2015
North Çayan Demirel, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu

Through wild Kurdistan: PKK fighters talk about their motives, their lives, their people, their right to resist. A film that takes a stance, banned in Turkey.


Documentary Film
96 minutes

Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Ayşe Çetinbaş
Çayan Demirel, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu
Koray Kesik
Burak Dal
Ahmet Bawer Aydemir
There was a considerable scandal at the Istanbul Film Festival 2015 which – see Internet censorship, see Taksim Square – was not really surprising: the screening of a film about the Kurdish PKK guerrilla had to be called off at short notice after the Turkish Ministry of Culture had intervened. “North” investigates issues of national identity, the history of the PKK, human rights and the role of women. The narrative is set against a backdrop of scenes from different PKK training camps in the mountainous border region between Turkey, Syria and Iraq, where the director met confident young people. Devoid of illusion in its depiction of the Kurds’ situation and very personal in the presentation of their motives, the film manages to link individual lives with ideas of home and the right to resistance in a credible and authentic manner. A second level expands this personal angle through political and historical evaluations by military and political PKK leaders. “North” is a political film that clearly takes a stance and describes self-determination as a universal human right. In a country where everyone who does not share the President’s opinion is a suspect that’s certainly a provocation. But what a paranoid response.

Matthias Heeder