‘Houses with small windows’ is a powerful and yet muted portrait of an honour killing in the rural Kurdish Southeast of Turkey. 22-year old Dilan pays for her forbidden love for a young man in a neighbouring village with her life. She has shamed the family and therefore must die at the hands of her own brothers. And as tradition will have it, the killing must be compensated.
Belgian-Kurdish director Bülent Öztürk tells this compelling story for a good reason. Every year 5.000 women are murdered in honour killings around the world. Among his people, the Kurds, the practice is wide spread. And his own mum awaited the same fate as Emine. ’Houses with small windows’ deals with this emotionally shattering issue in a most restrained and yet poetic way. In his beautiful, desolate images the silence bears a long shadow over the tragedies that unfold, rendering them even more unbearable. Rather than providing any kind of explanation or condonation, director Öztürk presents us with the bitter reality that burdens entire communities, leaving the viewer speechless.