Sidik and the Panther

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De Balie x IDFA Doc Talk: extended Q&A with director Reber Dosky and author & filmmaker Beri Shalmashi moderated by De Balie programme editor Sherin Seyda.

IDFA: Sidik and the Panther

The Persian leopard lives in the rugged mountain landscape of Kurdish northern Iraq. At least, Sidik is convinced it does. Equipped with binoculars and a walking stick, he roams the hills hunting for evidence of this feline species. He has been searching for 25 years in vain. If he were to spot a leopard here, the entire area would be classified as a protected nature reserve. He hopes that this would also put an end to the bombing and murders that plague the region.

In voice-over, Sidik talks about the hostile invasions of his home and how he had to flee his village as a child. Along the way he meets poachers, hunters and hikers with whom he shares memories. A conversation with a younger man who would like to leave for Europe reveals an interesting difference of opinion, showing that not everyone is as attached to his roots as Sidik is.

Atmospheric shots of the wilderness vividly capture Sidik’s love of the region. A beautiful and inspiring visual ode to perseverance and peaceful patriotism.

Extended Q&A with director Reber Dosky and author and filmmaker Beri Shalmashi, moderated by De Balie programme editor Sherin Seyda. What does it mean to be a Kurd in these times of turmoil and war? Will peace and healing ever be possible for the Kurdish people?

This program is part of De Balie x IDFA: Doc Talks.

After the film screening we’ll livestream the Doc Talk with in-depth conversations with filmmakers Reber Dosky and Beri Shalmashi on this page. Stay tuned!


Reber DoskyDirector
Beri ShalmashiWriter, filmmaker, curator
Sherin SeydaModerator and program editor