Good Kurds, Bad Kurds

In Good Kurds, Bad Kurds journalist and filmmaker Kevin McKiernan exposes the secret war that was happening on the Turkish border.

Director/Producer: Kevin McKiernan

Production Company
Kevin McKiernan Films

Release Date
January 24, 2000

A war of national liberation or war against terrorism? Filmmaker and acclaimed freelance journalist Kevin McKiernan poses this question at the outset of this stirring, provocative film shot in part by legendary cinematographer Haskell Wexler. It's all in how you define "good" and "bad". "Good Kurds" are those in Iraq: they are Saddam Hussein's victims, whom we want to help. "Bad Kurds" are those waging an armed insurrection against Turkey, an American ally: they are the receiving end of US weaponry. During the first Gulf War, McKiernan went to northern Iraq to cover the uprising against Saddam Hussein. Just a few miles away no one was covering the hidden war in Turkey. McKiernan determined he would report the story independently. Good Kurds, Bad Kurds -- nine years in the making -- delves deeply into the U.S.'s complicity in this human rights disaster, indicting the mainstream news outlets that, by staying quiet, help perpetuate the violence. Shot in part by three-time Academy Award winner Haskell Wexler, Good Kurds, Bad Kurds travels from Santa Barbara, California, home to a small Kurdish refugee community, to Washington, D.C, where an activist struggles to gain the attention of lawmakers and the media and fight his deportation, and to Turkey, where the anti-Kurd campaign continues. Good Kurds, Bad Kurds brings sharp clarity to a complicated history, while providing disturbing insight into immigration practices and US foreign policy.