Yilmaz Güney – Aç kurtlar AKA The Hungry Wolves (1969)


Memed is a fugitive with a sole purpose to find and execute bandits in the mountains. When a rich landowner wants to avenge the death of his father, he hires Memed as a bounty hunter.

Yilmaz Güney nods to the Italian Spaghetti Westerns popular in Turkey in this striking revenge drama about a bandit and bounty hunter (played by Güney himself) operating in the snowy mountains of eastern Anatolia. “Beautifully captured in stark black-and-white cinematography … The film’s emotive musical score recalls Ennio Morricone as surely as the film’s tale of revenge recalls Sergio Leone. Indeed, the stoic, tight-lipped determination of Güney’s bandit seems modeled after Clint Eastwood. Güney stages his lone figures in a landscape made almost abstract by the blinding white of the snow, giving the film a bleak poetry” (Harvard Film Archive). “With The Hungry Wolves there are the first distinct signs of Güney building towards a personal style. The film was shot in rugged eastern Anatolia while he was doing his military service … Behind the dramatic imagery and music — both of which Güney has consistently used throughout his career — lies a solitariness and sense of desperation which is to dominate his work more and more … Already Güney shows that he is able to maintain an air of social realism without forfeiting either visual élan or narrative drive”

— Derek Elley (International Film Guide)


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