My Sweet Pepper Land (2013)
Average Rating: 6.9/10
Reviews Counted: 9
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 0
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Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0
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The film's outcome may be predictable, and its framework decidedly retro, but the themes are anything but, including a healthy dose of feminism.
An interesting blend of classic cinema tropes set in the extremely specific (and rarely discussed) liberated Kurdistan.
As well as being another contemporary example of gutsy, engrossing drama coming from foreign filmmakers, it is also telling that we have to look to foreign language films such as this and Wadjda for female characters worth a damn.
If you get right down to it Baran represents the new sheriff attempting to bring law and order to an unruly and violent town while dallying with the local schoolmistress. The result is a film of great cultural interest plus suspense and humour.
One of the notable achievements Saleem's quietly surprising film is a combination of off-beat comedy and a strong sense of menace and danger.
Admittedly, the denouement is slightly off the pace and it all fades to an anticlimax, but wide blue skies, craggy bluffs and sure-footed mountain ponies are all put to good use.
Director Hiner Saleem takes the trappings of an old-school American Western, and infuses them with a distinctively Kurdish feel.
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