For a report on suicides by young women wearing headscarves, the poet Ka travels back to Kars in eastern Anatolia after twelve years in exile in Germany.

For three days, it snows incessantly in the city, which is cut off from the outside world. Local elections are due to be held and the Islamist candidate looks set to win. An argument breaks out on a theatre stage during the performance of a popular educational melodrama from the Ataturk era, in which the removal of the veil is propagated. Should a woman be forced to remove her headscarf?
Which is more important: the raison d'état of a secular state or the personal freedom of a religious faith? The events escalate when members of an obscure special squad storm the stage and, under the leadership of state actor Sunay Zaim, claim to have to save the state from the Islamists. The poet Ka attempts to clear up the political conspiracy, but gets caught up in the battle between Turkish and Kurdish nationalists, the army and Islamist fundamentalists as a mediator.
For director Ersan Mondtag, Orhan Pamuk's "Snow" is highly controversial and topical. In his novel, written before 11 September 2001, Pamuk wanted the small town of Kars to be understood as a microcosm of Turkey. After the attacks on the World Trade Centre, Pamuk began to understand that Turkey's problems had become the world's problems. Today, Pamuk's appeal to the West is: "Please make a distinction between Islamic society and political Islam! Please make a difference between political Islam and radical fundamentalists! After attacks like the one against Charlie Hebdo, emotions blur the differences. Terrible!"

Photo credits: Armin Smailovic


25. February 2016 – 24. August 2018