Turkey

Yilmaz Güney – Duvar (1983)

Synopsis:
Teens in a Turkish prison struggle to survive under hideous conditions. Made by dying Yilmaz Guney in France, after he escaped from a Turkish prison, enabling him to accept his award at Cannes for Yol (The Road). When the Turkish superstar leading man turned human rights activist, Guney was convicted for pro-Kurdish political activity and murder, by the Turkish military regime. Director/writer Guney’s last film, Duvar (The Wall), was banned in Turkey for 17 years. The incarcerated teens organize and fight back, brutalize each other, exult over the smallest triumph, while joking, suffering and learning from the inhumanity they wallow in. The prison also separately houses men and women, many played by other Turkish expatriates. Read More »

Banu Sivaci – Guvercin AKA The Pigeon (2018)

Quote:
‘Maverdi. Won’t you talk to them? Why are you not going over there? They are your kind.’

On a rooftop in Adana, Yusuf cares for the pigeons in his dovecote. His favourite bird is called Maverdi. To lure it even closer, he sometimes puts a seed between his lips for it to peck. The light grey pigeon is an outsider in the dovecote, just as Yusuf is in society, where he has to face ignorance and violence. The young man’s face rarely brightens up, and the pressure from his brother to go out to work makes things even worse. In her debut feature film, Banu Sıvacı evokes a genuine sense of empathy for the apparently fragile then fiercely rebellious loner who is fighting for a small joy that most people seem to begrudge him. Read More »

Lutfi Akad – Kanun namina aka In the Name of the Law (1952)

Ömer Lütfi Akad, aka Lütfi Ömer Akad, (b. 1916) is a Turkish film director, who directed movies from 1948-1974. In 1949, he debuted as a film director with Vurun Kahpeye (“Kill the Whore”) an adaptation of Halide Edip Adıvar’s book of the same title. He became one of the pioneers of the period in the “Director Generation”. The 1970s trilogy, The Bridge; The Wedding; and The Sacrifice, is considered his masterpiece. Afterwards, he withdrew from movie making instead directing adaptations for TV. Read More »

Seyfi Teoman – Apartman AKA Apartment (2004)

A young woman moves to her new apartment, where one of her new neighbors, a young man living alone, gets interested in her. (IMDb) Read More »

Yilmaz Güney – Agit AKA Elegy (1972)

Synopsis:
Coban and his four comrades are smugglers who live in the bleak, inaccessible mountains. They are hard, pitiless men like the county they live in, whose daily commerce is in greed, danger, betrayal and murder. Read More »

Thomas Arslan – Geschwister – Kardesler (1997)

The first part of Thomas Arslan’s Berlin Trilogy, continued with DEALER and the marvelous DER SCHÖNE TAG.

Quote:
Thomas Arslan’s second feature film and part of his Berlin-trilogy is a slow-paced milieu study of German-Turkish youth in Berlin-Kreuzberg. The film depicts the every day life, domestic conflicts, dreams and disappointments of three siblings and their aimless, meandering strolls through the Kreuzberg district. The family itself encapsulates the culture clash that is at the centre of many German-Turkish films. In Arslan’s film, the mother is German, the father is Turkish and the children have to make up their own minds about their cultural allegiances. Read More »

Dervis Zaim – Cenneti Beklerken aka Waiting for Heaven (2006)

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. Read More »