A Song for Beko
Time Out saysThis elegy for the persecuted Kurdish peoples of Turkey, Iraq and Iran is simple, unforced, and extremely moving. It may lack the epic grandeur of Yol, but it has the same telling eye for figures in a harsh landscape, and is infused with the same heartfelt compassion. After his brother Cemal flees the village to avoid conscription into the Turkish army, Beko is arrested in his place, but soon escapes. Peshmerga freedom fighters take him to the mountain hideout in the Iraqi highlands where their wives, and orphans from a nearby village, have taken refuge. While waiting for news of his brother, Beko befriends the children, including the painfully withdrawn Ziné. A more obvious film would have focused on Cemal's brave flight; Beko, we learn, served his two-year military service without complaint. The exiled Ariç's vision, though, is a broader one, dealing with how an ordinary man, the strong women and the orphaned children cling to their tenuous Kurdish identity. The first film to be made in the suppressed Kurdish language, this gives eloquent voice to the plight of a displaced people.