On October 4, 2012, a beaming Rüzgar Erkoçlar received his first testosterone injection, a joyous occasion in his gender affirmation.
Formerly a well-known actor throughout Turkey, Rüzgar hoped he could lead a private life as a transman. With a new job at a bakery and a supportive family and friends, things looked positive at first – until he was outed on Twitter and suddenly Rüzgar’s journey is thrust onto the front pages. A media frenzy ensues, and the question of trans-rights grips Turkey, with Rüzgar the reluctant figurehead.
It is against this backdrop that we join Rüzgar, and witness the many obstacles he is to overcome in order to live an authentic life and get his Blue ID.
“They are gone.” These are the words that propelled photojournalist Nicole Tung into a daunting situation which nothing could have prepared her for. Masked men wielding Kalashnikovs had abducted her friends John Cantlie and James Foley while they were en route from Syria back into Turkey. Nicole had been nervously waiting for their arrival at the border. Instantly, their fate rested upon her ability to find out who captured her friends and how to get them back alive.
The abductions of John Cantlie and James Foley were the beginning of a hostage taking frenzy which impacted the foreign policy of many countries. Because of media blackouts surrounding the kidnappings, many others unwittingly ventured forth into hostile ISIS territory. Fixers were targeted, causing people who thought they were safe to be captured. These unsuspecting journalists and aid workers were thrown into a dark and desperate situation that ended horribly for those whose countries didn’t pay ransom. These crimes revealed what can happen when truths are obscured – causing negotiations and rescue missions to go horribly wrong.
End of Truth is an emotionally powerful investigation into the political and criminal enterprise of kidnappings as ISIS rose to power in war torn Syria. By intercutting exclusive footage with intimate interviews of negotiators, investigators, fixers and even a used car salesman who are caught up in the confusion, we examine the leads that led to lies revealing the terrible consequence of misinformation when lives are at stake.
Shot in secret, BAKUR: Inside the PKK is the worlds first documentary made with inside access to the Kurdish separatist group, who are considered a terrorist organisation by Turkey, the US and NATO. The result is an inside look at the undeclared war going on in Turkey for decades. This was the first time any film crew had ever accessed these camps.
To date, the PKK has lost over 30 thousand of its members in combat against the Turkish State. What is the PKK’s perception of the state, justice and authority? What constitutes the foundation of their relationship to the people? How did the Kurdish movement evolve over the years into a battle for freedom founded on the women’s rights movement? How do the guerrillas who have been living under wartime conditions for 40 years manage to survive all year-round in the harsh outdoor living conditions in the mountains?
In search for answers to all of these questions, BAKUR: Inside the PKK introduces the audience to men and women who have chosen to join the armed resistance in order to create a new future. We witness life in three guerrilla camps located in three different regions of Kurdish territory within the Turkish borders.
Beautifully shot over months, we follow the lives of guerrilla fighters including the training and graduation of new recruits, their justice system and the progressive philosophies that guide them.
BAKUR: Inside the PKK from Sideways Film on Vimeo.
ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and Levant) has undoubtedly become a real, illusive threat to the whole of the Middle East. In spite of what we see on the surface, so many questions have arisen that give pause for reflection about the many factors involved in sustaining this terror group. Who are funding them? Who benefits most from the disorder and chaos across the region? Who are the major players behind the scenes?
This comprehensive documentary answers all of these questions. It takes us to the formation of ISIL explaining the process through which they have been funded, armed, and equipped by countries including the US, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and more, and explores how western interference in the region has led to the chaos in which ISIL are able to thrive.