Good Kurds, Bad Kurds Film Reviews



by Rod Hewitt

Good Kurds, Bad Kurds is a documentary on the plight of the Kurds in Turkey. It is hard to say what is the real subject of this documentary, the Kurdish nightmare in Turkey or the selective reality of the world news organizations that choose not to cover this dilemma. Kevin McKiernan, the writer/director of this piece, was covering the problems of the Kurds in Iraq when he discovered a deeper nightmare in Turkey. For nine years McKiernan has fought to bring the plight of the Turkish Kurds to the world stage.

Despite atrocities and war crimes of horrific nature by the Turkish government, despite the imprisonment of a Congresswoman who is on the short list for the Nobel Peace Prize, despite a bitter civil war between Turks and Kurds that engenders atrocities from both sides, McKiernan helps us witness the selective humanitarianism that takes place in world politics. For Bill Clinton, as for Henry Kissinger and George Bush, the Kurds are pawns to be used on the world stage, betrayed and abandoned whenever political exigency is at hand. McKiernan creates an excellent history lesson on the part of the Kurds in this century.

He then carefully and most objectively explicates their current situation. Then, with great sincerity, he illustrates our own dilemma, in which our society selects those stories that suit our agenda of truth and humanity, excluding those stories that do not suit the purposes of major news organizations in our country. Shot by McKiernan and Haskell Wexler, edited by Tom Miller, this is a film made with small resources out of the passion and commitment of the people involved. Good Kurds, Bad Kurds is not a masterful film on the technical level, but it is a humbling and rending cry for humanity to begin at the most appropriate level, in the time in which it is needed, and not in a sorry aftermath where our innocence can be protected by people like Albright and Kissinger, tap dancers who explain that war is really peace, protecting us from a duplicity on our parts that is startling and criminal. McKiernan has made a film that begs us to take responsibility for our own hearts and he does it beautifully, from the depth of his heart.



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