Gulîstan, Land of Roses

Gulîstan is one of the cornerstones of Persian literature. The word, Gulîstan, means rose garden. It is also the name of the little sister of Rojen, a 26 year old PKK-fighter. When Rojen took arms and joined the fight, she gave up everything: her little sister, her mother, everything belonging to her old life.

PKK, The Kurdistan Workers’ Party, is an armed guerrilla organisation fighting for an autonomous Kurdistan. In Finland PKK is known for their guerrilla war against the Turkish government. PKK recruits women, and since 2014 they also have fought against Isis in Syria. The Kurd women have a reputation as fearsome fighters: according to Isis you are banned from paradise if you are killed by a woman.

The women are fierce, because they have a reason to be afraid. If caught, they are sold to slavery. Fighters recount a tale of 40 female fighters jumping off a cliff to escape capture. It is a dangerous life, but it still attracts volunteers. The war frees women from the traditional gender roles and gives them a chance to contribute to the future of the Kurdish people.

Gulîstan, Land of Roses is a film about the life of the PKK women and their preparation for the war. As a film, it is almost transcendent, with imagery rolling from a scene to another like clouds in the sky. Each frame is tinted with tenderness and picturesque beauty. And at the centre of everything are the women: their idealism, their bravery and their everyday life.
Viivi Myllylä / Translation: Tuomo Karvonen

Languages: Kurdish, Turkish, French
Subtitles: English


  • Director: Zaynê Akyol
  • Country: Canada, Germany
  • Year: 2016
  • Length: 87 min
  • Age limit: K12
  • Format: DCP
  • Cinematography: Etienne Roussy
  • Editing: Mathieu Bouchard-Malo
  • Audio: Olivier Calvert
  • Music: Cristophe Lamarche-Ledoux
  • Production: Sarah Mannering & Fanny Drew & Yanick Létourneau / Périphéria, Mehmet Aktaş / mîtosfilm, Nathalie Cloutier & Denis McCready / National Film Board of Canada


  • Kinopalatsi 8: Keskiviikko 25.1. klo 17:15
  • Korjaamon kulmasali: Lauantai 28.1. klo 16:15
  • Kiasma: Sunnuntai 29.1. klo 11:00