Good Kurds, Bad Kurds: No Friends but the Mountains | Chicago Reader

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds: No Friends but the Mountains

This 2001 video on the Kurdish people, whose homeland straddles five nations, analyzes their struggle in admirable historical depth. The value judgments of the title refer to self-serving U.S. attitudes: Iraqi Kurds are “good” as a tool to oppose Saddam Hussein, but the Kurds of eastern Turkey, who are forbidden even to call themselves Kurds, aren't on our radar since Turkey's a key ally. Images of entire villages wiped out because their citizens wouldn't fight their own people and accounts of torture in Turkish prisons are heartrending, but director Kevin McKiernan doesn't explain why so many Kurds chose to take up arms rather than protest in other ways, and leaves internecine battles unmentioned. The cinematography, by McKiernan and famed cameraman Haskell Wexler, is effective and engaging. 80 min.


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