Screening: No Friends But the Mountains + Q&A

Talk Thursday, 21st September 2017, 07:00PM


With the independence referendum of Iraqi Kurdistan set for 26th September 2017, The Frontline Club will be hosting a film screening of No Friends But the Mountains along with a Q&A with the makers of the film to discuss the possible outcomes.

No Friends But the Mountains is an insightful personal tale from Kae Bahar, a Kurdish asylum seeker who explains how many wars and the ever growing refugee exodus from the Middle East are fuelling the call for an independent Kurdistan.

Kae himself endured torture under the regime of Saddam Hussein and was forced into exile in 1980. 35 years on, Kae returns to Iraq to win first hand insights into the war against ISIS and explore whether independence in the Kurdish region could become a reality. Along his way he meets Ezidi Kurds who escaped the 2014 ISIS massacre in Sinjar and ended up in Iraqi refugee camps or in Germany.  He also interviews those who are still fighting on the frontline – the Peshmerga and the PKK.

In exile, Kae dreamt about Kurdish independence during all his life and with this film he wants to conduct a reality check back in his homeland. Are the 6-7 million people who are living in the Kurdish region of Iraq also keen on independence? Or could there be a more nuanced attitude to dealing with the real-politik of the region? Kae is also asking how best to prevent further conflicts and more refugee dramas.

Watch the trailer here:


Kae Bahar (via Skype): Presenter

Kae is UK based, Kurdish writer and documentary filmmaker. Over the past 25 years he has been producing and presenting films with broadcasters such as BBC, Channel 4 and Al Jazeera. In 2015, Kae’s novel Letters from a Kurd  was published to great acclaim.

Claudio von Planta: Director

Claudio von Planta is a Swiss freelance documentary filmmaker who started his career in 1985 with reports about the Afghan resistance against the Soviet Occupation. From 1990 onwards Claudio worked on many TV news features and longer current affairs programmes for all the main UK broadcasters. In 1996 Claudio filmed a Gwynne Roberts report for Channel 4 Dispatches where they tracked down Bin Laden in Afghanistan. The same year he also shot KARZAN’S BROTHERS for BBC Inside Story, his first Kurdish film with Kae Bahar where they documented the smuggling of Kurds from Iraq to the UK. Ever since Kae and Claudio continued to produce films about the fate of the Kurds.

John McCarthy: Narrator

John McCarthy is a writer and broadcaster.  On his first foreign assignment, to Lebanon in 1986, he was abducted by Islamic Fundamentalists and held hostage for over five years. This experience was explored in the book Some Other Rainbow (co-written with Jill Morrell). His other books are Between Extremes (with Brian Keenan), A Ghost Upon Your Path: An Irish Journey, You Can’t Hide the Sun: A Journey through Palestine. Alongside his writing John has worked in television for the BBC, ITV, Sky Arts and Al Jazeera, and on radio for the BBC World Service and Radio 4. In 2014 John presented a documentary for Radio 4 ‘Kurdistan: A State of Uncertainty’. He was awarded the CBE in 1992 and is a Patron of the charity Freedom From Torture.

Tom Hardie-Forsyth: Recent Senior Advisor to Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG)

Tom Hardie-Forsyth is the recently retired Senior Advisor, Capacity Building to the Prime Minister’s Office, Kurdistan Regional Government, Erbil Iraq, a post he has held since 2005. He remains the Senior Advisor to the KRG UK Representative Office, and a team member of the Genocide Memory Project.