The Shawaks is a nomadic community of Eastern Turkey. During the winter they live in stone houses in a village, whereas in springtime, as soon as the lambs are born, they take their flocks to the high pastures in the mountain. Large flocks of sheep and goats, along with other domestic animals and entire families, are loaded on some lorries and taken to the foot of the mountains. Here they start a hard ascent. The mules are heavily burdened and at the end of their endurance, every animal slides on the snow thus risking becoming crippled or falling off the rocks. The men go before the caravan, putting up tents in safe places where their families may rest. Women, once the camp is set, do the milking and prepare the cheeses to be sold to the traders. The director Kazim Oz has spent a whole year with the Shawaks tribe to silently document the hard daily life of this unknown small community.
He was born in Dersim, Turkey in 1973. During his studies at university he worked in Teatra Jiyana Nû (Turkish contemporary theatre) and studied drama and direction for four years. Since 1996 he has worked at the cinema department at the Mesopotamia Culture Center di Istanbul. In 2001 he devoted himself to film-making and in 2004 received several international awards with his film Dûr (The distant). His filmography includes: Fotograf (2001) and Bahoz (2008).