IDFA - Sidik and the Panther
Reber Dosky / NL, 2019 / 83 min.
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.