Gulîstan, Land of Roses

86 mins.
Directed by Zayne Akyol
Kurdish with subtitles

Filmmaker Zaynê Akyol in person!

Free to Amherst Cinema Members. Free tickets available only at the box office (not online).

Presented as part of the Bellwether Film Series. Click for more information.

They belong to the armed wing of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is also an active guerrilla movement. The mission of these female fighters? Defend Kurdish territory in Iraq and Syria, and defeat ISIS, all while embodying a revolutionary ideal advocating female empowerment.

As filmmaker Zaynê Akyol follows their highly regimented lives, seasoned fighters like Rojen and Sozdar openly share with us their most intimate thoughts and dreams.

Even as fighting against ISIS intensifies in the Middle East, these women bravely continue their battle against barbarism. Offering a window into this largely unknown world, Gulîstan, Land of Roses exposes the hidden face of this highly mediatized war: the female, feminist face of a revolutionary group united by a common vision of freedom.

About the filmmaker:

Zaynê Akyol is an award-winning filmmaker of Kurdish origin who was born in Turkey and raised in Quebec. In 2009, Akyol produced her first short documentary, ISMINAZ, which won the Jury Prize in the Radio-Canada International Roots competition. In 2010, she followed up with her medium-length documentary, IKI BULUT ARASINDA (UNDER TWO SKIES), which won the Jury and People’s Choice awards at the Festival Vidéastes Recherché(e)s, as well as the Vox award at the Rendez-vous du cinéma québécois festival before touring the international festival circuit. In 2012, Akyol devoted herself to writing her first feature documentary, Land of the Roses: My Name Is Gülistan, whose script-in-progress was selected from among 4,400 projects for the Doc Station (Berlinale Talents) at the Berlin International Film Festival.