Has their time finally come?

Kurdistan Across four countries in the Middle East, forty million Kurds have fought for rights and recognition for decades. Now they are leading the struggle against the forces of Islamic State, whilst in the Kurdish Iraqi enclave they've created a business powerhouse. Reporting from across the Kurdish world, this incisive doc asks, are the Kurds closer than ever to securing the international recognition they so desire?
The future, for the Kurds, has long been uncertain. Suppressed as a minority by governments across the Middle East, the Kurdish people have been denied the practical advantages of citizenship. Yet as the rise of Islamic State challenges security in the Middle East, Kurdish communities are in the world spotlight as never before.

The Kurdish path to recognition is defined by contradictions. While Turkey makes war with its Kurdish provinces, oil-rich Iraqi Kurdistan depends on Ankara for the delivery of its wealth. As a result Iraq's glittering Kurdish North, with its new shopping malls and busy airports, has become a shining example to the rest of the Middle East. And across the border in Syria the socialist YPG Kurdish forces are a model army, disciplined, cohesive and powerful.

Returning home after Turkish security forces attacked his property, a Kurdish resident of Sylvan protests against the violence issued upon his people by the Turkish army: "What if the baby had been in here during the attack?!", he cries in front of his destroyed house. "We want peace. That's enough! We want peace!" Yet, the spirit of the Kurd appears strong. As the local MP surveys the losses suffered, the people of the city raise their arms towards the sky: "Victory shall be ours" they whisper.

Whilst years of armed struggle by the PKK seemed to invalidate the case for Kurdish independence, recent fierce Kurdish defence against the Islamic State, and relatively liberal attitudes regarding issues such as women and ecology, has further brought the Kurds unprecedented levels of international recognition and respect.

Through the eyes of the Kurdish minority, this timely and compelling film reveals the fascinating complexity of politics and identity in the Kurdish territories. At a unique point in the region's history of conflict, Kurdish voices express the hope that they may at last achieve the recognition - and perhaps statehood - they have for so long fought for.


The Producers

Ventana-Film GmbH is a Berlin based TV- and Film-production company, run by the former deputy programme director of ARTE, Hans Robert Eisenhauer. He became managing director of Ventana in June 2011 after his retirement from the position as a commissioning editor at ZDF/ARTE, specialized in international coproductions. Working for ARTE since its foundation in 1991 he was responsible for more than 2000 theme-evenings and about 60 feature-length documentaries for cinema and TV, a large number of current affairs programmes and series. Eisenhauer is working also as a consultant and lecturer for different film-workshops like the Documentary Campus e.V. and the 'Greenhouse' workshop for young filmmakers from the Southern Mediterranean countries.

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