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Gulîstan, Land of Roses

They stand at the forefront of the fight for freedom in the Middle East. These young women belong to the armed wing of the PKK, the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, which is also an active guerrilla movement. From their camp hidden away in the mountains, the women lead a nomadic life, undergoing ideological and practical training before being sent out to the front lines. Their mission? Defend Kurdish territory in Iraq and Syria, and defeat ISIS. By capturing their ritualised daily activities, as well as the emotional and intellectual bonds that unite them, Gulîstan, Land of Roses sheds light on the lives of these women who are collectively fighting for a revolutionary ideal advocating female empowerment. The film also gives them a powerful voice, and in return, many of them openly share with us their most intimate thoughts and dreams. Even as fighting against ISIS intensifies in the Middle East, these women bravely continue their battle against barbarism. Offering a window into this largely unknown world, Gulîstan, Land of Roses exposes the hidden face of this highly mediatized war: the female, feminist face.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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69 Minutes of 86 Days

Through a crowd of refugees standing by a shoreline, a wide-eyed young girl with a puffy coat and a Frozen backpack emerges, about to start a very long excursion. Three-year-old Lean is our focal point as she and her family trek through Europe with the goal of reaching her grandfather and a new home in Sweden. With minimal dialogue, we travel alongside Lean and get to understand the deep courage and will Syrian refugees must have as they search for a better life. Part of a new wave of documentaries that depict the various elements of the Syrian crisis, 69 Minutes of 86 Days takes a poignantly humanistic approach. In its quiet beauty, it unravels the physical and emotional challenges refugee families face every day. While Lean may not fully understand what she’s experiencing, her strength and optimism shine through, giving hope to those who need it the most.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Accidental Anarchist

One man’s remarkable journey: from diplomat to anarchist. British diplomat Carne Ross worked on Iraq and its WMD, and resigned from the government over its lies before the 2003 invasion. His extraordinary personal and political odyssey culminates in a remarkable encounter with new forms of democracy in the midst of war – in Rojava, Syria. A profound examination of the political and economic problems that confront the world.

We will be joined after the screening for a Q&A with co-director John Archer.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Butterflies

Young Alexei is openly homosexual. Although his peers have no problem with his sexual orientation, his mother is unable to accept it. This documentary portrait follows Alexei during summer break, as he spends time with his new lover Grisha. The film takes an unusual observational approach in that the camera is often right up against people’s bodies and faces during impassioned discussions, arguments, or testimony. Provocative, confrontational and unapologetic.

Presented in collaboration with SQIFF, Scottish Queer International Film Festival.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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La Batalla de Chile/The Battle of Chile: Interrupted Screening

On September 11, 1973, the democratically-elected socialist government in Chile was overthrown in a bloody coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. The Battle of Chile is an outstanding three part documentary film, which catalogues the events leading up to the country’s open and peaceful revolution, the election of President Salvador Allende, and the violent right-wing counter-revolution.

The film won countless awards on the international film festival circuit and this is an extremely rare opportunity to see all three instalments in one sitting. David Archibald and Maria Velez-Serna, with Martín Farías, researcher in Chilean cinema at the University of Edinburgh, will facilitate an interrupted screening, with the film paused at certain moments throughout for questions and discussion.

12pm-6pm

Free, but ticketed.

In association with Screen Seminars at Glasgow.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Erase and Forget

‘Bo’ Gritz is one of America’s highest decorated Vietnam veterans and the alleged real-life inspiration behind Rambo. A contentious public figure, he also killed 400 people, turned against Washington and moved to the Nevada desert where he now sleeps with many weapons. Filmed over ten years using impressive visual material, Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s portrait of Bo is an inquiry into the nature of human conscience and the limits of deniability, and embodies contemporary American society in all its dizzying complexity and contradictions.

Presented in collaboration with LUX Scotland. This screening is free to all SUPERLUX members.

We will be joined after the screening for a Q&A with Filmmaker Andrea Luka Zimmerman and Director of LUX Scotland, Nicole Yip.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Machines

Moving through the corridors and bowels of an enormous and disorientating structure, the camera takes the viewer on a descent down to a dehumanized place of physical labor and intense hardship. This gigantic textile factory in Gujarat, India might just as well be the decorum for a 21st century Dante’s Inferno. In his mind-provoking yet intimate portrayal, director Rahul Jain observes the life of the workers, the suffering and the environment they can hardly escape from. With strong visual language, memorable images and carefully selected interviews of the workers themselves, Jain tells a story of inequality, oppression and the huge divide between rich, poor and the perspectives of both.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Grab and Run

Since Kyrgyzstan gained its independence in 1991, there has been a revival of the ancient practice of Ala-Kachuu, which translates roughly as “grab and run”. More than half of Kyrgyz women are married after being kidnapped by the men who become their husbands. Some escape after violent ordeals, but most are persuaded to stay by tradition and fear of scandal. Although the practice is said to have its root in nomadic customs, the tradition remains at odds with modern Kyrgyzstan. Ala-Kachuu was outlawed during Soviet era and remains illegal under the Kyrgyz criminal code, but the law has rarely been enforced to protect women from this violent practice. Today in Kyrgyzstan, sheep thieves are punished more severely than bride kidnappers.

Presented in collaboration with Glasgow Women’s Library.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Prison Sisters

Prison Sisters takes us through the journey of two young women who have been released from prison in Afghanistan. Sara’s uncle has planned to kill her an attempt to save his honor in their small village. Fearing for her life Sara escapes to Sweden, but Najibeh stays behind. While Sara struggles with her newfound freedom, her prison-mate Najibeh disappears and soon Sara hears that she was stoned to death. Sara and the filmmaker want to find out the truth, only to encounter a maze of half- truths on the streets of Afghanistan. We follow the two main characters, revealing what happened to them – each with an exceptional fate depicting the horrific reality for women in Afghanistan.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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Dil Leyla

At 26, Leyla is elected the youngest mayor in Turkey, in her hometown of Cizre, a Kurdish capital city near the Iraqi-Syrian border—a city she was forced to flee over 20 years ago, after her father was killed by the Turkish military when she was a little girl. Her goal is to heal and beautify the civil-war-torn city, which is enjoying a break in the violence. But on the eve of Turkey’s parliamentary elections, everything changes, and old memories become more real than ever.

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Posted: 18 September 2017

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