North (Bakur)


For decades Turkey has silenced the armed conflict with the Kurds. For the first time we get access to the day-to-day of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) guerrilla. We experience the day-to-day of the Kurdish resistance in three different camps located in south-east Turkey, in the mountains of north Kurdistan (bakur means north in Kurdish). We get to know the lives of men and women who have decided to get armed and fight for a better future. What is their perception of the estate, authority and justice? How do they relate amongst themselves and how do they organize their fight? What’s been their evolution from the principles of women’s liberation movements? How have they survived more than 40 years of war, despite the hostility of life in the mountains? The film opens a window into a mysterious and unknown reality, looking for answers from one side of the conflict and accepting its partial stance to offer a new perspective on the situation.

The documentary was withdrawn from the Istanbul Festival, which led to big protests in favor of freedom of speech, and over 100 filmmakers from all over the world signed a petition against oppression and censorship. The rest of the films were withdrawn voluntarily to show solidarity with the filmmakers, and in the end the whole festival was cancelled.


Çayan Demirel was born in Turkey in 1977. After completing his degree at the Faculty of Economics, he started working in documentary film in the year 2000. In 2009 he won the best documentary award for his film Prison Number 5: 1980-84 at the the Ankara Film Festival.

Ertuğrul Mavioğlu was born in Turkey in 1961. He spent 8 years in jail for political reasons during the period between 1980 and 1991. He worked nearly 30 years as a journalist at various newspapers and television stations.  He has received two awards for investigative journalism from the Progressive Journalists Association.


Montreal World Film Festival – Canada, 2015

DOCLeipzig – Germany, 2015

Stockholm Film Festival – Sweden, 2015

Festival Dei Popoli – Italy, 2015

North (Bakur) | Edition 2016, Festival, Official Section | ,

North (Bakur)

Çayan Demirel, Ertuğrul Mavioğlu

Turkey (2015)



Language: Kurdish, Turkish

Executive production: Ayşe Çetinbaş

Photography: Koray Kesik

Edition: Burak Dal

Sound: Ahmet Bawer Aydemir

Production: Surela Film Productions