A new way to Cinephilia

Last two weeks have been crazzzy!

First there was all the preparation for my college fest. Then there was the actual fest. Blitzkrieg is a big deal. It’s a BMM fest after all, and KCBMM at that.

Immediately after Blitz got over, I went ahead and registered myself for a course in German at the Goethe Institute in Mumbai.

Actually since I had gone, the Queen of Procrastination that I am, on the day before the course was to commence, I didn’t get in at first. My mum was all serves you right. 

But my friend Dee was the one with me. She’s like a lucky charm or some kind of talisman. Really! I’m going to drag her along with me for job interviews.

She assured me that someone would cancel and I would get the call. And hey pesto! Two minutes später, my cell began to ring.

I got in!

So now, my timetable basically goes like

Morning – College
Afternoon 1pm onwards – German Class
Evening around 7.30 – Home

Yesterday was hellish. I had college at 7.30 am. Then I had nothing to do 10 am onwards and finally German class at 1 pm.

I left after class and walked down to the station with a neue Freundin from MMB (or Max Mueller Bhavan ie the German class). She was planning on going for a movie at Alliance Française. They have free movie screenings every Monday. I went along.

The movie was amazing! It was an Iranian film called My Sweet Pepperland.

mysweetpepperland_events

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.

That’s the summary on imdb. It’s directed by Hiner Saleem and stars Korkmaz Arslan and Golshifteh Farahani in the main roles. Imdb has given ‘My Sweet Pepperland’ a 7.1/10 rating.

I would personally raise it to an 8/10. I don’t know if I’m the right judge because it’s the first middle eastern movie I’ve seen but I really liked it. It shows Kurdistan as a newly formed country trying to form it’s laws and have a police force to ensure that the laws are followed. Of course, this process, as always, has its adversary in the traditions and norms that are deeply rooted into the minds of the citizens. We see the old ideals wrestling with the modern changes.

The way that the people of the village cannot accept a female teacher, and the way they are unable to comprehend the friendship between Govend and Baran- it is something I can very much imagine happening. The doubt and mistrust is a part of being an Indian girl too but on a much much lower scale. At least, in the cities.

What I really loved about the movie was the way the characters kept on fighting back. Right from Baran to Govend to the female Turkish Kurdish rebels. They were just tiny acts of rebellion (except for the rebels from Turkey and Baran towards the end) but it made me realize that not every rebellion needs a Mockingjay to be effective.

Now, my Monday evenings are booked. I’ll definitely try and catch movies at Alliance. I am also trying to download a movie called ‘Kilometre Zero’ by Hiner Saleem again. It is a roadtrip movie that takes place in the Kurdish land.

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