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Kurd Kontroversy

Miramax has been marketing “Journey Of Hope” as a film about Kurds who make their way to Switzerland; Vincent Canby wasn’t persuaded. Canby wrote that a friend who spoke Turkish said nothing in the film represented the protagonists as Kurds, and they didn’t speak Kurdish.

Others have wondered whether the Kurdish tag was attached to play off the plight of the Kurds in Iraq. Director Xavier Koller said the real family is Kurdish and Turkish, but he couldn’t shoot it in Kurdish for a simple reason: Everyone involved would have been arrested. “Using the Kurdish language in a Turkish film would have been seen as a political threat to Turkey and everybody involved in such a project would face serious problems afterward…” The early production notes, Koller said, which said nothing about Kurds, also were purposely made discreet.

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