Kurtlar vadisi - Irak (Valley of the Wolves) (2006)
Director: Serdar Akar, Sadullah Sentürk (co-director).
Starring: Necati Sasmaz (Polat Alemdar), Billy Zane (Sam William Marshall), Ghassan Massoud (Abdurrahman Halis Karuki, Sheikh), Gürkan Uygun (Memati Bas), Bergüzar Korel (Leyla), Kenan Çoban (Abdülhey Çoban), Erhan Ufak (Erhan Ufak), Diego Serrano (Dante, Sam's assistant), Gary Busey (Doctor), Spencer Garrett (George Baltimore, journalist), Tito Ortiz (American Major Commander 2), Nusret Senay (Turkish Commander), Tayfun Eraslan (SÜleyman Aslan), Ismet Hürmüzlü (Abu Tarik, Arab leader), Jihad Abdou (Kurdish Leader).
the Americans as very bad men; based on 2003 arrest of 11 allied Turkish special forces soldiers and 13 civilians by the United States in northern Iraq
Spoiler Warning: below is a summary of the entire movie.
A Turkish military officer writes a suicide letter to his brother. In it he tells what terrible thing happened to him. On July 4, 2003 in Suleymaniye, North Iraq, he was on duty with his ten soldiers. The Americans, with whom they had drank tea, ambushed the Turkish headquarters and pointed their guns at them. The Turkish officials called the higher-ups for instructions on what to do. They were told that they are not to start fighting. Permission is given to the Americans to search the building. The guy in charge, Sam William Marshall, asks them where is the C4 explosive. The Turks don't know what they are talking about. Then Sam tells his men to arrest the Turks. They put hoods over their faces and march them outside. The Turks could not fight back that day and the officer has been deeply upset ever since. The Turkish military officer signs the letter and puts it in an envelope addressed to his brother Polat Alemdar. He then takes out his service revolver and shoots himself in the head.
Three Turkish men drives in a S.U.V. into Iraq. The leader of the group is Polat Alemdar, brother to the officer who committed suicide. The other two men are Abdulhey and Nemati.
In a small Iraqi village Leyla, adopted daughter of the Sheikh, is getting married. The groom is getting a haircut in preparation for the ceremony.
Polat and his men reach an Iraqi checkpoint. At gun point they are forced out of their car. They are then asked to lay down on the ground. Two of the men comply, but Polat says if he is to get shot, he will get shot standing up. Suddenly Polat starts struggling with a guard for his automatic weapon. The other two men join in the fight. Polat gets the weapon and shoots two of the guards. The other men eliminate the other two guards.
The groom gives his bride Leyla a thousand year old knife for her protection. The women sit on the roof while the men at the ceremony dance below. Abu Tarik, who is very close with the families, arrives. The Americans wait some distance away from the ceremony. An army officer says no one has opened fire yet. A nasty killer (working probably for Black Water) named Dante chuckles and says they will. As the wedding celebration heats up, the men start firing their weapons into the air. Dante says: "Now they are terrorists!" The troops are told that the celebration is a wedding, but this doesn't phase the Americans.
Meanwhile, Polat and his crew arrive at the Grand Harilton hotel. They go in and sit down. A little later three Iraqi soldiers come in to arrest the three men accused of killing four Iraqi guards at a northern checkpoint. The three men sitting down, however, have other ideas. They demand to see the manager. When the manager comes, they tell him to get Sam William Marshall to come to the hotel to talk with them. To get their way, Polat shows the manager the denotation mechanism for the C4 attached to each of the six main columns of the hotel.
At the wedding celebration the Americans want to see everyone's I.D.s. Sam looks on from his hummer. The Americans start abusing the guests. A young boy named Ali plays with the barrel of a soldier's automatic weapon and the American fires his weapon killing the child. This starts a big fight between the Americans and the Iraqis. Men are killed on both sides of the fight. Leyla comes down to the ground area and gets bashed with a rifle butt. Her husband comes to her defense but is shot in the head by an American soldier.
The Grand Harilton Hotel is evacuated. The "terrorists" speak with Sam and tell him they will blow up the hotel if he does not come.
Many of the male wedding guests are placed in a trailer to be taken to Abu Ghraib Prison. The military officer says that the prisoners should be given a chance to get some fresh air or they may suffocate. So Dante gets out of the hummer and uses his automatic weapon to shoot a lot of holes into the side of the trailer. Many of the wedding guests are killed, while the others are wounded. The military officer says he is placing Dante under arrest, so Dante kills the officer.
At the Abu Ghraib Prison a civilian doctor is removing organs from healthy prisoners and sending them to Israel, London, England and the United States. The doctor is mad when he sees all the dead and wounded prisoners. He tells Dante that he will be killed if he keeps killing and wounding the doctor's patients. The doctor needs healthy organs from living bodies.
Sam arrives at the hotel. Polat says he wants something from Sam. He wants him to put on the same type of hood that Sam had forced the Turks to place over their heads. Polat says: "I wreak havoc upon those who put a hood over a Turk's head." Sam refuses to do it. Instead, his cronies bring a large number of young children into the room as a way of preventing the three men from blowing up the hotel. Polat calls Sam a hateful, evil man. Sam brags that he is willing to loose 11,000 troops to accomplish his mission.
At the Abu Ghraib Prison the Iraqis are being placed in little cells without roofs. There they are blasted with high pressure water hoses.
The three terrorists leave the hotel without detonating the explosives. An accomplice helps them get into a trailer truck to make their escape.
Leyla tells her foster father: "If only I were killed too!"
At the Abu Ghraib Prison an American female soldier comes in the cell to get a naked Iraqi prisoner. She boots him toward the hall where the Americans are piling naked Iraqis on top of each other. The Americans are laughing and having a high-old time.
Leyla wants vengeance, especially on Sam Marshall. She is so angry that she wants to become a suicide bomber. She asks her foster father for permission to kill "them". But the sheikh is dead-set against suicide bombing, thinking it an immoral act. In fact, he believes the Americans want a high number of suicide bombings in order to help discredit Islam and the Muslims. They want to paint Muslims as terrorists.
The three terrorists get out of the trailer truck.
The civilian doctor at the prison knows that Sam is setting the Kurds, Arabs and Turks against each other. And he complains again that he wants his patients and their organs alive.
Polat plans to assassinate Sam with a high-powered weapon set with a scope. He sets himself up on one of the roofs across from a restaurant that Sam often uses for negotiations. Polat's two accomplices dress as civilian body guards working with the American soldiers. Sam arrives at the restaurant to talk with some of the Iraqis. Abu Tarik tells him: "We're all terrorists to you." Others complain that all too many are unjustly forced to migrate from the area. Sam says he will support these migrants' safe return.
Leyla is in the area tracking Sam. She sees Abu Ali as he prepares to be a suicide bomber. She tells the man saying: "Don't do that!" Sam gets ready to leave the restaurant. As he is coming out Ali blows himself up, killing many others including civilians, soldiers and body guards. Polat and his two buddies start shooting American soldiers and body guards, but he is unable to get a clear shot at Sam. The three conspirators have to make a run for it to get away from the soldiers. Sam caught some shrapnel from the suicide bomb and has the civilian doctor remove it.
Sam brings in two Iraqis and starts asking them where Polat is. When Hasan says he doesn't know, Sam shoots him dead. Sam then turns to the next Iraqi. More soldiers and Black Water civilians arrive. They are part of a massive manhunt for the terrorists. The four terrorists have to make a desperate run for it. Leyla helps them escape and the Americans lose their trail. So they start searching house to house. Leyla is able to fool a soldier who comes to her place to check the house. She gets the four men to a safe house. Polat is very grateful to her. He says: "You have saved our lives." But soon they have to leave.
A ceremony is held to honor Sam Marshall. He will be getting a white piano from Sadam's palace. People forced from their houses come to the sheikh for assistance. Meanwhile, the four terrorists decide to hop a ride on the roofs of the box car of a moving train. A train arrives with the white piano and it is taken out to be delivered to Sam. Sam tells Dante to arrest the meddlesome sheikh. The piano arrives at Sam's place. An American journalist is about to be beheaded, but the sheikh intervenes on his behalf to save him. The white piano has a bomb in it. Sam sits down to play the instrument, but he is disturbed by the noise of a jackhammer used by a street repair crew. Sam goes outside on the terrace to yell at the men, when a strong wind knocks down the piano's music stand setting off the bomb. Sam is knocked down by the explosion.
Leyla reports to the terrorists that the house has come down upon Sam. The cautious Polat tells his men to make sure that Sam is dead.
Sam is very much alive. And now he plans to launch an offensive to catch and kill the terrorists. He has a small army with him. The area in which the terrorists are hiding comes under a massive assault. Rockets take out whole walls of houses. And there is a lot of firing upon the houses. One of Polat's men is wounded. Abdülhey is wounded in the leg. But the terrorists keep knocking off Sam's men one by one in a steady rhythm. Leyla sees Sam approaching and hides behind a wall. She plans to stab him with the knife her husband gave her. She waits and waits and when someone is about to turn the corner, she thrusts her knife into their chest. But it's not Sam. It's Sam's main mad killer Dante. Dante goes down and dies. Sam is right there, however, and he shoots Leyla twice in the chest. She goes down. Polat and Sam now confront each other. They start a fight to the death. Polat comes out the winner, thrusting a knife into Sam's chest. Leyla dies in the arms of Polat. He cries over her dead body.
Polat got his revenge on Sam and the Americans for the dastardly treatment of his brother that led the brother to commit suicide.
Pretty good movie. I would recommend it because it shows the Americans how some other countries see the United States and their soldiers and civilian hired guns. It is not a flattering picture. There is a lot of action in the movie with a lot of killing. Bergüzar Korel as Leyla gave a good performance and is pretty too. Billy Zane as the main villain of the movie does his usual a-little-over-the-top performance.
Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D.
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