New Documentary on Öcalan


A new documentary entitled Öcalan And The Kurdish Question has been released by Costa Rican director Luis Miranda. In his film Miranda draws attention to the defining role that Kurds are playing in the Middle East and the potential for Kurdish Popular Leader Abdullah Öcalan to be a “voice for and builder of peace” in the region.

The documentary deals with the history of the Kurdish people and the Turkish state, the current problems which they are facing and their attempts to work for peace. The film, which opens with a shot of the sunrise from Mount Nemrut, covers a wide swatch of recent Kurdish history, including attempts by Turkish President Turgut Özal to find a solution to the conflict amidst opposition from Süleyman Demirel and other Turkish politicians, the 1991 PKK ceasefire, the role of Kurdish leader Celal Talabani in this process, the expulsion of Öcalan from Syria, Kenya, his subsequent imprisonment on Imrali island and the Oslo Peace Process. The film looks at how the Kurds are not redefining the Middle East and the role they are playing in developments in Iraq, Iran, Syria in addition to Turkey.

Intended For A Western Audience

The film also draws on commentary from journalist Cengiz Çandar and International Crisis Group Turkey Representative Hugh Pope in order to explain the approach by the AKP and Erdoğan to the Kurds over the past decade and a half, as well as the role which the United States is playing in the Kurdish question. Miranda explained that he wanted “a Western and Turkish expert to accompany me on this 55 minute journey.” The film also includes interview with former US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, the lawyer investigating the Paris murders Antoine Comte and many other Kurdish representatives. He emphasises that the target audience for the documentary are not Kurds but a Western audience.

Rojbîn Assisted In The Production

The film, which uses footage shot in Rojava in 2012 and touches upon the most recent ISIS attacks on Kobanê, also credits Fidan (Rojbîn) Doğan for her assistance in making the film. Rojbîn was murdered together with Sakine Cansız and Leyla Şayleme in the Paris in 2013. Miranda said about Rojbîn, “Rojbîn helped me a lot as I was first looking at ideas for the film. Miranda, who has been making documentary films since the age, has already made a number of films for French television. Öcalan And The Kurdish Question will be broadcast on ARTE on the evening of February 10th in both French and German before appearing on the German channels WDR Tv, VOSGES Tv and a number of Kurdish channels.

A Trailer For The Film Can Be Seen Here.