Three siblings, who grew up in Germany, come together in Kurdistan for their mother’s funeral. Her last wish is to be buried in a village far away from their German hometown. But their mother’s brother refuses to grant his sister’s wish. The three siblings therefore decide to steal their mother’s coffin and flee in a pickup truck through the desolate landscape. HOUSE WITHOUT ROOF is a realistic drama about broken family relations and the process of rediscovering one’s own history. Director Soleen Yusef, herself a German citizen originating from the area depicted, has created a Kurdish version of the Heimat film.
The film reflects on the repercussions of the 1980s massacres in Northern Iraq by Saddam Hussein’s regime of Kurds. However, as the siblings come to terms with the past, news reports of IS’s advances and the siege of Mosul point to the contemporary realities and violence of a politically unstable region.
Soleen Yusef (b. 1987) was born in Iraqi Kurdistan. She arrived in Germany as a refugee aged nine. She studied dramatic directing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, and HOUSE WITHOUT ROOF is her graduation film.