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Two Sides of the Moon | Radio Free Mike

Two Sides of the Moon

Premiered at the 2011 Rhode Island International Film Festival

Two Sides of the Moon is a documentary about the honor killing of a German-born Kurdish woman, Hatun Aynur Sürücü, in Berlin.

Hatun was a single mother who clashed with her family in a crowded, four-bedroom apartment. At 18 she quit wearing a headscarf, entered the German welfare system, began wearing makeup and trained as an electrician in another neighborhood. She changed her name to “Aynur,” or Moonbeam, and tried to raise her son as a modern German Muslim.

She was shot dead at a Berlin bus stop by her youngest brother, Ayhan, in February 2005.

The film explores the meaning of honor in the West and in rural Middle Eastern places like Anatolia, the hardscrabble Kurdish part of Turkey where the Sürücü family lived until the 1970s. It also features interviews with the Dali Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Seyran Ates, a prominent honor-crimes attorney.

Mike helped with research in Europe and with the script. Some of his proceeds went to Terre des Femmes, a German nonprofit that helps women live independent lives.

The film was an official selection at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and the UNSPOKEN Human Rights Film Festival in 2011.