Snow Pirates

Faruk Hacihafizoglu

In an idyllic winter landscape during a far less idyllic era in Turkey, three little snow pirates set out to gather usable coals for the fire. They have fun and dream about the future, while the land they grow up in gradually falls into the grasp of a military coup.

The harsh winters in Eastern Turkey are not for the faint of heart. Snow is everywhere, as far as the eye can see, but there is little coal to heat up the place. It is 1981 and the Turkish population is groaning under the yoke of a strict military regime. Fear, poverty and disappearances are commonplace. The need for those oh so precious coals is almost equal to the desire for freedom. But fuel is extremely scarce and soldiers stand guard at every street corner.

None of this seems to faze Serhat, Burbuz and Ibrahim. During their school holidays the boys set out with their wooden sleds, like true snow pirates looking for treasure. It lies hidden in the ash pits from previous coal fires: the coals that have not burned completely can be reused and are worth their weight in gold. Neither the cold nor the political situation can keep the children from having fun and fantasizing about their future. Serhat for instance worries more about whether he will get ice-skates for his birthday than about political prisoners with a paper bag over their heads.

Coming-of-age drama about innocence, friendship and the reality of growing up in an age of political oppression and instability.


Faruk Hacihafizoglu
Country of production
83 minutes
Spoken language
Kurdish, Turkish
Production company
Kars Films
World Sales
Match Point