Dervis Zaim – Tabutta rövasata AKA Somersault in a Coffin (1996)

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Plot summary stolen from IMDB:
Mahsun Supertitiz is an unemployed homeless man who steals cars at night so that he can sleep in a heated place during the winter. Mahsun lives in Rumelihisar, an old section of Istanbul, and makes ends meet by getting the local fishermen to help him. Mahsun loves the cars he robs, cleans and polishes them, and drives them through the streets of Rumelihisar during the daytime.
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Dervis Zaim – Cenneti Beklerken aka Waiting for Heaven (2006)

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Review by Necla Algan:
A masterpiece from Derviş Zaim, one of the most original directors of Turkish cinema…
There can be little doubt that Waiting for Heaven ranks as one of the most important works of Turkish cinema. Here is a film that stands out for its unique story and visual richness, its original themes and multi-layered, poetic narrative.
The central character of Waiting for Heaven is Eflatun, a miniaturist… Set in the 17th century, the film uses Eflatun’s personal story as a springboard for exploring a multiplicity of themes including the identity of the artist, the relationship between art and reality, the period of history in question and the struggle for power. One of the main topics of discussion raised by the film is the strained relationship between the arts, the artist and government. But what constitutes the real axis of the film, couched in the story of the miniaturist, is an exploration of representational art, one of the major areas of crossover in the art and culture of East and West; and a study of the meaning inherent in these two very different art traditions. Continue reading

Dervis Zaim – Gölgeler ve suretler AKA Shadows And Faces (2010)

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Turkish Cypriot filmmaker Derviş Zaim’s most recent directorial effort, “Gölgeler ve Suretler” (Shadows and Faces) in which he tackles the inter-communal violence his homeland experienced in the 1960s, through the story of a father and daughter.

Shadow and Faces is the coming-of-age story of a young girl who is separated from her father, a Karagöz shadow play master, during the beginning of the conflict between Turks and Greeks in Cyprus in 1963. With a backdrop of extraordinary natural beauty, the experiences of the villagers fleeing from their village in the Island’s Karpas region to the relatively secure but alienating city sheds light on the story of Cyprus.

How can a man protect his family without resorting to crime, in the midst of unspeakable violence? How can he maintain his innocence and human dignity in a world where violence and injustice reign supreme? Inspired by a real story in a very specific moment in history, the film explores questions relevant to us all. (—Antalya International Film Festival) Continue reading