For Ali, the world is as far as he can see. As he grows up, his will to discover other worlds grows with him. He’s leaving behind Kurdistan, and roams in European Turkey before crossing the Hellenic borders. A new world unfolds and it will be his dünya.
▌Official selection Peloponnese International documentary festival 2020
▌Official selection 13th Chalkida documentry festival
▌Official selection Ierapetra International documentary festival 2019
Credits / Collaborators / Cast
Director: Thanos Liberopoulos
Executive Producer: Alexandra Papastergiopoulou
Production supervisor: Kirki Liatopoulou
Gerasimos Vidiniotis as “Mr Giorgos”
Alexandros Vidiniotis as “The boy”
DoP: Thanos Liberopoulos
Original music: Alexandra Papastergiopoulou
Sound engineeer: Angelos Slatinopoulos
Sound editor/sound design: Giotis Paraskevaidis
Editor: Thanos Liberopoulos
Production assistant: Fu
Poster design: Evros Voskaridis
The story behind the film
Ali, had a convenient store just across the street I live. Day after day he was there, smoking and drinking çay, with a gentle smile and a calm voice. Sometimes eager for conversation, others lost on the Turkish series he was watching manically or a book.
He never missed a day, he never opened his store late or closed it early. Through time we got a bit closer, and I tried to persuade him to tell me his story. At first, I couldn’t persuade him to stand in front of a camera, but from time to time I managed to record some of his stories there, inside his store.
Through Ali’s stories we travel in the troubled land of Kurdistan, we follow him as he roams in Turkey in order to work and later, almost by chance, in Greece. Poverty, state suppression, leftist activism, terrorism accusations, tortures but also compassion, love, loyalty, pride and gratefulness for the small joys of life, wrapped up on the four walls of a convenient store.
I stand more as a witness and less as a director on this. I unraveled a story beyond my expectation and beyond my comprehension at first. One time he was Ali, the cool guy selling beers and chips, and after that a rebel, a fighter, a man who left as a child to see if there is a world beyond the villages and the mountains he could see.
I missed the chance to film Ali, as he passed away. I new I had to do something with this tapes and with the help of Alexandra Papastergiopoulou, we made a sound montage, putting his story to a perspective. After that the main body of the film was ready on almost 5 days. We filmed, edited, worked on sound design and subtitles in parallel.
This is my first directorial attempt on a documentary form. Me and my team we enjoyed it, we are excited, and we are proud that we put Ali’s story on this movie.
I submitted this film because it’s a chance for a voice ignored from everyone to be heard. It’s a glimpse of what Kurdish people suffer, how poverty and suppression decimate Turkey and how a large ethnic group such as Kurds, end up being foreigners everywhere.