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Synopsis

Risking their life, they climb on narrow mountain paths every day, carrying 40 kg of goods on their back. Every mistaken step may chance upon a landmine. They are hunted like wild animals. And in the name of what? To earn just 10 dollars a day!?

They are called kulbars. What is a kulbar, you may ask. The Iranian authorities regard them as smugglers. The extremely poor Kurds regard it as a traditional profession which keeps families fed and alive. They do not regard it as crossing the Iran-Iraq border – for them, it is all Kurdistan. Abusing their power, Iranian border guards kill tens of unarmed kulbars every year. Some of them are blown up stepping on mines. International human rights organisations have condemned the violence, but to no avail.

This is a painful film. Kejal, a young Kurdish woman studying at Tehran returns home when her brother is killed in the mountains, leaving behind debts for lost goods. Forced by circumstance, Kejal becomes a kulbar – a woman in a men’s world. In a world where a woman aspiring towards independence has to be particularly strong. This drama with elements of suspense tells a story about suppressed but proud people who carry their life on their back. Most of them play themselves in this film. It is a rare opportunity to take a look at something you don’t normally see.

Tiit Tuumalu

Director
Nima Salehyiar

(b. 1984) is a director, actor, photographer and designer who began his art career with designing sculptures, paintings, and with social photography. He started studying acting in 2001 and directing in 2008.

He has played in theatre and in television series, and produced short and documentary films. ''Kejal'' is his debute feature film.

Filmography
  • Kejal (2018)
Thu, 29.11.2018
6:30 pm
Tallinn, 
Kino Sõprus
140904
Subtitles: 
EST, ENG
Screening code: 140904
Movie guests
Director Nima Salehyiar
Fri, 30.11.2018
5:00 pm
Tartu, 
Cinamon
Hall 4
151701
Subtitles: 
EST, ENG
Screening code: 151701
Sun, 02.12.2018
9:00 pm
Tallinn, 
Coca-Cola Plaza
Hall 3
170309
Subtitles: 
EST, ENG
Screening code: 170309
Screenings with guests might end later than expected.
Film info
Country: Iran
Year: 2018
Duration: 79 minutes
Language: Persian
Director: Nima Salehyiar
Producer:   Javad Noroozbeigi
Writer:   Armin Isariyan
DOPs: Amir Aliveisi, Afshin Alizadeh
Montage: Cewna DourandiSean (Ali Doorandishan)
Composer: Omid Re’isdana
Cast: Samira Zoka’ee, Maryam Boobani, Nastaran Mohammadi, Mohsen Mohammadnezhad, Asad Reza’ee
Synopsis

Risking their life, they climb on narrow mountain paths every day, carrying 40 kg of goods on their back. Every mistaken step may chance upon a landmine. They are hunted like wild animals. And in the name of what? To earn just 10 dollars a day!?

They are called kulbars. What is a kulbar, you may ask. The Iranian authorities regard them as smugglers. The extremely poor Kurds regard it as a traditional profession which keeps families fed and alive. They do not regard it as crossing the Iran-Iraq border – for them, it is all Kurdistan. Abusing their power, Iranian border guards kill tens of unarmed kulbars every year. Some of them are blown up stepping on mines. International human rights organisations have condemned the violence, but to no avail.

This is a painful film. Kejal, a young Kurdish woman studying at Tehran returns home when her brother is killed in the mountains, leaving behind debts for lost goods. Forced by circumstance, Kejal becomes a kulbar – a woman in a men’s world. In a world where a woman aspiring towards independence has to be particularly strong. This drama with elements of suspense tells a story about suppressed but proud people who carry their life on their back. Most of them play themselves in this film. It is a rare opportunity to take a look at something you don’t normally see.

Tiit Tuumalu

Director
Nima Salehyiar

(b. 1984) is a director, actor, photographer and designer who began his art career with designing sculptures, paintings, and with social photography. He started studying acting in 2001 and directing in 2008.

He has played in theatre and in television series, and produced short and documentary films. ''Kejal'' is his debute feature film.

Filmography
  • Kejal (2018)