Taree Film Society screens My Sweet Pepper

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TAREE Film Society will screen My Sweet Pepper Land (M) at 7pm Monday, July 21 at Fay's Twin Cinema.

Baran, a hero of the Kurdish war of independence, has become chief of police in the capital, Erbil.

No longer at ease in a society at peace, he thinks of quitting the police force, but finally accepts a position in a small valley in Iraqi Kurdistan, on the border with Turkey and Iran. It's a lawless territory, at the heart of a Bermuda Triangle for trafficking in alcohol, drugs and medicine.

He refuses to bow down to the rules of Aziz Aga, a corrupt tribal chief and ancestral master of the valley.

He encounters Govend, the village's new schoolteacher who has come to work as the teacher in the newly opened school despite her 12 brothers' hostility to the idea. She also comes up against the hostility of the inhabitants.

Like Baran, she represents another law, that of the young autonomous Kurdish state, and she is in an even more vulnerable position because she's not married.

Together, Govend and Baran will challenge the power of Aziz Aga, and will join forces with the Turkish Kurds.

Writer/ director Hiner Saleem has crafted a stunning film that uses the conventions of the Western to cast a light on modern Kurdistan.

He shows us a country that has been opened enough to allow the youth to express their contemporary demands: more democracy, secularism and freedom of speech.

"Women are hoping to find a new identity, a new social and political role. Women, old friends of mine, who have become doctors, professors or school teachers have gone to work in these distant villages and told me their stories. Govend respects some aspects of tradition, but defies her family, society and the culture of honour. I admire these women. This is the story I want to tell in my film, with feeling and humour. For as the saying goes: God created 10 Kurds, and then one more to make them laugh."

This is the film society's first screening for the 2014-15 season. Subscriptions are $110. Casual tickets $16.

Find the society at the food table in the foyer, visit www.tareefilmsociety. org.au or phone 6552 3476.

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