Reha Erdem – Sarki Söyleyen Kadinlar AKA Singing Women (2013)

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Synopsis
One of the islands in Istanbul has been given an evacuation order in expectation of an earthquake. Scores of people flee the island in a rush. But some think otherwise, and refuse to leave. Life will get harder by the day in this apocalyptic climate for those who remain. An unlikely group of distressed women struggle with their tribulations, united extraordinary reserves of energy, courage, hope and faith. The film follows them throughout their inspiring, humanistic journeys into the different dimensions of existence. “We may inhabit a dark world, but there are at least a few people out there in the world whose compassion and generosity of heart give us hope as to the multidimensional profundity of existence. These magnanimous people are incredibly strong because they know how to labour, to sing, to share, to laugh, to run, to protect.”– Reha Erdem Continue reading

Reha Erdem – Jîn (2013)

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Quote:
In the foothills of the Kurdish territories of Turkey, Jîn (Deniz Hasgüler), a young, red-scarfed rebel, slips away from her small guerrilla band to attempt a return to her family and a normal life. Hiding from both her comrades, to whom she is now a traitor, and the Turkish army, which views her as a terrorist, Jin takes refuge with the animals of the forest, who are themselves struggling under the brutality of war. In the silence, amongst the eternity of nature, Jin tends to the animals’ needs, and they, in turn, stare implacably back at her; their blank stares, understanding and accusatory all at once.

With her red head scarf, her encounters with grandmother, and her need to return to family, Jîn slips easily into the Red Riding Hood mould but this is not so much an update as it is a return to the tales rustic and very cautionary roots. Writer/director Reha Erdem has constructed a reality that nods to the past but eases back on the levels of codification that obscured the tales original purpose. Primarily, and most powerfully, Erdem reinstates men into the role of the wolf. And not just one. At every turn, Jîn is faced with a violently gropey suitor. Every (male) hand extended to her inevitably bares its claws. Continue reading

Reha Erdem – Korkuyorum Anne aka What’s a Human, Anyway? (2004)

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Mommy, I’m scared

What’s a human anyway…
This is the question the film explores. Through the streets of Istanbul, echoing with seagull cries and boat whistles, through the people in their homes who, scream, shoulder to shoulder, back to back, lip to lip, hand in hand, fist to fist, eye to eye, cheek to cheek: Ali and his father Rasih… Neriman the tailor and her son Keten… Ipek with her baby in her belly… The doorman Riza, his wife Selvi and their son Cetin… The neighborhood butcher, Kemal… Neriman’s dog, Cakir. Ipek’s gymnast roommate Umit… Ex-boxer Aytekin and his friend Zambak… Continue reading

Reha Erdem – A ay (1988)

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Synopsis:

Yekta, 11 years old, is born and still lives in a mysterious, castle-like house, at the shore of the Bosphorus, together with her lame seagull, her spinster aunt, Nukhet Seza, and her grandfather, Sirri, paralyzed and bedridden, following the death of his son and bride. The bedroom of her mother is the place where Yekta takes shelter in, to daydream and hide her secrets. All she knows about her mother is that she had left one day in a little boat on the Bosphorus and that she would never return. One night, Yekta sees her mother go by in a little boat, through the window pane of her mother’s room. But no one believes her. Her younger aunt Neyyir, an English-language teacher living on the Burgaz Island, wants her to be registered in the boarding school on the island. She thus aims to get her away from her longing for her mother and from that weird, haunted-like house. But Yekta is unwilling to go the island. One day, just like her mother, she leaves in a little boat and gets offshore. … Continue reading

Reha Erdem – Kosmos (2010)

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Kosmos is a thief who works miracles. He arrives in this timeless border town from the wilds weeping, as though a fugitive. No sooner is he there than he rescues a small boy from drowning in the river, and is recognized as a man who works miracles.

Kosmos, is a rather uncommon person. He never appears to eat nor sleep. His single form of nourishment is the granulated or lump sugar he consumes by the fistful. One of his more striking skills is the ability to scale the tallest trees with uncommon agility. He is also frank in declaring his wish that startles the townspeople: He is looking for love. Soon Kosmos and Neptun, the teenager sister of the rescued boy, grow closer in the most bizarre of ways: imitating the screech of birds in trees and on rooftops. Continue reading