The Legend of the Ugly King


Documentary, 122min, Germany/Austria

Writer & Director: Hüseyin Tabak

Production: mîtosfilm in co-production with Aichholzer Filmproduktion and MarangozFilm

Supported by: Filmförderung Hamburg Schleswig- Holstein, Austrian Film Institute, ORF Film/Television-Agreement


Festivals (selection):

Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF DOCS)

Duhok International Film Festival (Special Screening)

International Filmdays Hof

Göteborg International Film Festival

Filmfestival Turkey Germany, Nürnberg

Fribourg International Film Festival

Hong Kong International Film Festival

Thessaloniki Documentary Film Festival

Istanbul International Film Festival

London Kurdish Film Festival

MOOOV Film Festival Belgien

Ankara International Film Festival

Kurdish Film Festival Berlin

International Documentary Festival BEYOND THE BORDERS (Castellorizo)




GRANIT Dokumentarfilmpreis (International Filmdays Hof)

Öngören Award for Democracy and Human Rights (Filmfestival Turkey Germany, Nürnberg)

Golden Award (World Documentary Awards Bali)

Best Historical Documentary (International Documentary Festival BEYOND THE BORDERS, Castellorizo-Greece)

They called him The Ugly King! A myth, a hero, a film legend. Who was Yilmaz Güney? A highly talented director? A revolutioner? A murderer? A genius or a lunatic? Young director Hüseyin Tabak is looking for answers by doing research for a script about the Kurdish filmmaker from Turkey. Güney was sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. Mainly for political reasons but also for murdering a judge. He started making movies from jail. His most famous film YOL won the Palm d'Or in 1982. Tabak visits different countries where he meets with Güney's family, his actors, prestigious filmmakers as Michael Haneke or Costa Gavras, former inmates and people on the streets for whom Güney is still a hero. But the deeper Hüseyin digs, the more the legendary ugly king appears human and vulnerable.