On July 4th, 2003, the ally American squads arrive at the unofficial, semi-confidential headquarters of eleven members of the special Turkish forces deployed in Northern Iraq. The Turkish squad assumes it to be a usual visit of their allies. But this time, it is different. With the changing conjuncture, the USA aims to be the only power “to have the last word” in the region. To them, no Turks are needed in the region. That day, eleven soldiers are deported with sacks on their heads and with their military pride disregarded before the eyes of the public. Suleyman Suleyman “>Aslan is one of those eleven people. Unable to stomach being scorned, First Lieutenant Suleyman commits suicide, leaving a letter behind. The letter is written to Polat Polat “>Alemdar, a privately and well trained Turkish intelligencer. He took part in countless operations both within the country and abroad for an intelligence agency working for the state. Always living for the sake of duty, Polat Alemdar cannot be indifferent to the will of his friend who committed suicide for the pride of his duty. He is now in Northern Iraq with his men, even to die if necessary.
Review: Kurtlar Vadesi Irak (Valley of the Wolves Iraq) was released in 2006 though I only came across it recently, I had read the article on Wiki and wanted to see for myself what the fuss is about. The portrayal of atrocities in Abu Ghraib prison, the massacre and deaths of thousands of innocent Iraqis in public places, weddings, bazaars, towns all brought back memories of the grim reality in Iraq. Scene after scene, some factual, others semi-factual were all given a sensible and somewhat accurate context, something Hollywood could never do.
The ratings for this movie came from the controversy it raised away from the weak plot and some over exaggerated action, explosions after explosions and people being killed everywhere. I guess thats expected from a war movie although the movie gives its viewers a short break and much needed time to reflect during the dramatised zikr session. Apparently some people found it quiet disturbing, anti Semite, racist and even anti Christian but like all other movies with a political theme, you can’t please everyone.
The movie centres around the ‘hood event’ penetrating deep into political reality in Iraq. Injustices and atrocities against people make ‘extermists’ out of ordinary people, the cold blooded murder of a child by US soldier makes his father (Abu Ali) a suicide bomber who pulls the trigger in the bazaar with the intention of killing Sam Marshall. Another victim Layla, is influenced by the Sufi teachings of the Shaykh who talks her out of becoming a suicide bomber. She unsuccessfully tries to stop Abu Ali but later tries to kill Sam Marshall by a stab in the heart with gifted dagger from her murdered husband. The movie explains, not all Muslims are terrorists, although the movie’s definition of terrorist is someone who blows themselves up out of despair and hopelessness however fighting and killing with guns and daggers is fine. Everyone else cruises in Mercs and Bmw’s, but the shaykh rides a horse to a beheading scene and stops the potential beheading of a journalist, again emphasising the point that not all Muslims are extremist terrorists.
Americans are the bad guys (for once), Turkmen are the victim, Kurds are sell outs (except Abdulhey of course), Sufis are good and basically the underlining message: You don’t mess with the Turks. Nonetheless a brilliant war movie with a different perspective. Now some time to reflect: