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My Sweet Pepper Land - Film Review

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by Jen (subscribe)
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Published May 13th 2014
A beautiful film with haunting sounds and scenes
Kurdish movie, My Sweet Pepperland, foreign films, English subtitles, Cinema Nova, Golshifteh Farahani, Korkmaz Arslan, Hiner Saleem
My Sweet Pepper Land's Govend (Golshifteh Farahani)


A film by Hiner Saleem and starring Golshifteh Farahani (Govend the school teacher) and Korkmaz Arslan (Baran the new commander) it is set in the harsh border town of Qamarian, loosely referred to as The Bermuda Triangle. This is a place where the Turkish Kurds come for weapons and the Iraqi Kurds smuggle alcohol. The town comes complete with the corrupt and self proclaimed 'Lord' Aziz Aga (actor Tarik Akreyi) who keeps a firm hold on the town to suit his agenda while hunting down a group of female guerillas. This is not a simple story of love.

Kurdish movie, My Sweet Pepperland, foreign films, English subtitles, Cinema Nova, Golshifteh Farahani, Korkmaz Arslan, Hiner Saleem
Govend and Baran from My Sweet Pepper Land


A visually engaging film celebrating strong women and upstanding men, determined to make life better against all odds.

Govend and Baran were destined to meet in this lawless land. Twin souls escaping the same fate of arranged marriages, they meet during a two hour journey one must take on foot to the border town because the bridge has been destroyed.

Quietly strong and determined to uphold the law in a land of corrupt men, determined not to leave the country to them, Baran is faced with seeing first hand how the underdog is stomped upon by cultural mindsets, at Pepper Land, the local drinking hole and only Inn.

Enter beautiful single young female teacher Govend who stands strong against her father and band of 12 brothers, determined to reach the children who otherwise have no opportunity for an education, in a place that does not want her.

Kurdish movie, My Sweet Pepperland, foreign films, English subtitles, Cinema Nova, Golshifteh Farahani, Korkmaz Arslan, Hiner Saleem
A classroom of children caught in an educational tug of war


Give yourself up to the beautifully aching and resonating sounds of the 'Hang', a beautiful percussion instrument created by Felix Rohner and Sabina Schärer in Bern, Switzerland.

Enjoy a western soundtrack that fits right in to the movie and does not feel peculiar at all.

Kurdish movie, My Sweet Pepperland, foreign films, English subtitles, Cinema Nova, Golshifteh Farahani, Korkmaz Arslan, Hiner Saleem
Govend retreating to the resonating sounds of the 'Hang', a percussion instrument.


Most of all, be an observer of a well made film that I would not call a western like movie; simply a way of life portrayed as it was.

Why would I recommend this film?

Because it is peppered (pardon the pun) with underplayed humour that gave me laugh out loud moments without trying hard.

Because it has a stellar cast and subtle displays that make more of an impact than blatant in your face messages.

Because for me it was simply a great movie with no empty spaces in its execution.

If you're a lover of foreign films, love immersing yourself in the way another culture views the world, this is definitely a film to see.

I give it four out of five stars.

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Why? Great foreign film
When: Australian release: May 22, 2014
Phone: 03 9347 5331
Where: In selected cinemas
Cost: $12 to $19
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