Women of Cyprus (with Hebrew, Arabic, English subtitles)
In the spring of 2004, Maria, a Greek Cypriot, and Zehra, a Turkish Cypriot, cross to opposite sides of the green line dividing Cyprus since the war of 1974 to visit the family homes they had not seen for thirty years. Thus begins the personal journey of these women as the film follows them through their pasts, haunted by war and pain, to their present search for reconciliation and common ground. On the eve of the U.N. referendum to reunite the divided island, many buried stories from the past surface. Rare archival footage adds context to the Cypriot conflict. The filmmakers bring together women from both sides of the island who share their fears, distrust and hopes. For some, this includes years of experience working together to bridge the divide between their communities. Candid interviews and revealing group discussions trace the women's inspiring capacity for contact that transcends ethnic differences. As the referendum approaches, they must confront how to appease their hesitations, define safety, trust and learn to live with each other again. With heartbreaking honesty, insight and humor, the women define their concepts of home, community and relation to the land. For four years, the filmmakers returned to Cyprus to collaborate with the women in the film, to process the conflict with them and witness their resolve to live together again. As the film has been screened in different parts of the world, especially where populations continue to suffer conflict and division and the need for peace remains urgent, viewers identify with the struggles of the women on both sides of the divided island, gaining perspective on their own reality and finding inspiration in the possibilities of reconciliation.