Iraqi-Kurdish director Hiner Saleem (“Kilometer Zero,” “Vodka Lemon”) doesn’t have anything fresh to say in “Dol,” another dramatic reverie on the plight of his people that is strictly fest fare for Middle East specialists. Shorn of the irony that enlivened his previous pics, drama-free item simply shuffles a group of characters who symbolize political and ethnic positions around a mountainous landscape where Turkey, Iraq and Iran meet.
During a wedding ceremony between Azad (Nazmi Kirik) and Nazenin (Sipel Dogu Lesar Erdogan) in the rocky village of Balliova (pop. 8,200), a fight breaks out after provocation by the Turkish military. Azad flees in a truck to Iraqi Kurdistan and meets various characters in the fluid society, where everyone from separatists to drug runners co-exist. There’s Ceto (Abdullah Keskin), a Kurd from Paris visiting his family; Jekaf (Rojin Ulker), kidnapped as a teen by Iraqi soldiers; and the beautiful Taman (Belcim Bilgin), who intros Azad to guerrillas fighting the Iranian government. Dialogue is utilitarian (“Here our land is free. It’s a new era for Kurdistan”), lensing of the scrubby landscape impressive in a static way. “Dol” is Kurdish for both “drums” and “valley.”