Dil Leyla

Asli Özarslan

At the age of five, Leyla Imret escaped her native village of Cizre in Turkey, after her father, a Kurdish freedom fighter, was killed. Twenty years later, she returns to become the youngest mayor in the country.

After having lived with her aunt in Germany for years, Leyla Imret grasps the opportunity to return to the place where she was born. The situation in Cizre seems more peaceful, and she wants to make a contribution to reconstructing the city. She wins the elections for mayor by a landslide and works vigorously on reforms.

Debutant filmmaker Asli Özarslan read about this political talent in the newspaper and decided to start following her. This report about Leyla’s political career shows the thin line between hope and desperation in unstable places like Cizre, on the border between Turkey and Syria in Kurdish territory. The moment the national elections are scheduled, the situation in the village becomes incredibly tense. Leyla needs to fight to keep on top of this situation and be spared her father's fate.

Unfortunately, Leyla Imret cannot attend the Movies that Matter Festival. Read more about her here.

Text: Dirk van der Straaten


Asli Özarslan
Sabrina Leyla
Country of production
72 minutes
Spoken language
German, Kurdish, Turkish
Production company
Essence Film