A new film about Cyprus confirms my belief that most people in the world would get along just fine if the politicians left them alone. Unfortunately, this message is too threatening for both Turkish and Greek hawks, who are both trying to suppress the film! The film is Dervis Zaim’s “Mud” (Camur), which bills itself the “first film of a united Cyprus”.
The island’s border was thrown open earlier this year in an attempt by Rauf Denktash, the leader of the Turkish north, to stave off a rebellion after half the population took to the streets to demand a peace deal with the Greek south.
Mr Denktash, who is convinced that Greeks and Turks cannot live in peace, thought opening the border would lead to fresh bloodshed. Instead people from both sides threw open their homes to each other in what has been called “the Cyprus miracle”.
The film covers this story, although it was mostly filmed elsewhere for fear of “alerting the authorities.” What could cause problems for the film with the Turkish censors is the fact that it admits that “Turkish Cypriots massacred their Greek neighbours”:
One of Mud’s central characters is haunted by his crimes and becomes a peace activist. In the film’s pivotal scene, he confesses to killing Greek villagers in revenge for the murder of his family and friends.
In what some critics are seeing as an unholy alliance with Turkish hawks, the organisers of Greece’s premier film festival, Thessalonika, have already refused to show Mud despite its significance. And in Greek southern Cyprus, the film may only be shown in one small arthouse cinema in Nicosia. Alin Tasciyan, the critic of Istanbul daily Milliyet, said it would be a “complete catastrophe” if Mud became a political football. “I am worried for it, because this film deserves to be seen. It is a wonderful, human story. All Cypriots have suffered and this shows the Greeks how Turkish Cypriots share the same pain.”
The film does not have an official web site that I could find.