Witness: Vendetta Song – Al Jazeera (2012)

Witness: Vendetta Song - Al Jazeera Documentary Film

The Al Jazeera Witness presents another gripping documentary film titled Vendetta Song that follows the Eylem Kaftan’s aunt, Guzide Karaozan was murdered almost 30 years ago in an honor killing; a crude instrument of justice that was a product of old values that clash with modern ideology. Eylem Kaftan recounts the back story of Guzide Karaozan that is told to the viewers through a variety of reenactments; from her birth to her death. Guzide Karaozan was born to Eylem Kaftan’s grandmother after she was abandoned by her husband for another woman.

Believing that the baby would bring shame and burden on to the family, baby of Guzide Karaozan was handed over to her father’s tribe, who lived in the village of Millan in southeastern Turkey. After Karaozan was old enough, she was offered as a peace settlement to another village. However, Guzide Karaozan was soon widowed and both her brothers-in-law expressed a desire to marry her. Her refusal and subsequent attempt to escape the forced arrangement landed her dead. Though, Guzide Karaozan has become more or less of a legend in this town, there are many men of her village, who wish to avenge.

Eylem Kaftan’s journey through the remote village seemed more or less like a journey through time because of the antiquated value system that the people strictly adhered to. With scanty clues and the harsh system in the Kurdish culture, Eylem Kaftan was able to piece together what really transpired thirty years ago and also disclose the identity of her murderer. Vendetta Song was a woman’s attempt to help her aunt get justice and make her story known, so that a similar fate does not befall any another woman in the village. By filming for the Vendetta Song, Eylem Kaftan was able to unite with her roots and it turned out to be a spiritual journey for her; she not only attempted to find closure on behalf of her aunt but also brought justice for her.

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