Reha Erdem – Jîn (2013)

 Reha Erdem   Jîn (2013)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Reha Erdem   Jîn (2013)

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.

Interestingly, and very satisfyingly, Erdem inverts the idea that “traditional” “family values” are a point of sanctuary. In actual fact, the further Jîn travels away from the danger of her guerrilla existence, the more peril she finds herself in. Stripped of her headscarf and arms, the young girl becomes just that: a young girl. She is suddenly easy prey for consumption, something Erdem underlines effectively when Jîn re-encounters a young shepherd, who once, petrified of her “terrorist” uniform and machine gun, supplied her with bread. Grandma, too, is not as she once was; she’s drug addled, abandoned and craving familial attention.

While this human side of Jîn is both fascinating and rewarding, it is the broader, very visual construct that is the most mesmerising. For the majority of its run time, Erdem’s film is filled with near wordless shots of the Turkish countryside, its flora and fauna. Noise, when it comes, it usually an explosion or bullet impact and the effect is destructive. The evocative juxtaposition of war and nature that carries the bulk of the film’s expansive emotional load. Under the lens of Erdem’s longtime cinematographer, Florent Herry, there is a real sense that these petty squabbles are over a land that will endure, even thrive, once the battle is won, one way or the other.

Jîn is languidly paced but well worth the time and effort. A surprising, contextualising and perspective building piece of cinema that builds to a beautiful and very chilling final image.

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Language(s):Turkish, Kurdish
Subtitles:English, French, German, Turkish

Nuri Bilge Ceylan – Üç maymun AKA Three Monkeys (2008)

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29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Nuri Bilge Ceylan   Üç maymun AKA Three Monkeys (2008)

A family dislocated when small failings blow up into extravagant lies battles against the odds to stay together by covering up the truth… In order to avoid hardship and responsibilities that would otherwise be impossible to endure, the family chooses to ignore the truth, not to see, hear or talk about it. But does playing “Three Monkeys” invalidate the truth of its existence? (nbcfilm) Continue reading

Sirri Sureyya Onder & Muharrem Gulmez – Beynelmilel AKA The International (2006)

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29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Sirri Sureyya Onder & Muharrem Gulmez   Beynelmilel AKA The International (2006)

Beynelmilel / International: Co-directed by Muharrem Gülmez and scriptwriter Sirri Süreyya Önder, Beynelmilel / International takes movie-goers to the days in the aftermath of the coup d’etat of September 12th, 1980. Here we are in a remote town of Adýyaman watching the tragicomical story of a group of local musicians. The film depicts the extent to which ordinary people were affected by the military suppression after the coup. It is a period movie made in an ironic and humorous manner. (Istanbul Film Festival booklet – 2007)

• IST.FF 2007 – The Special Prize of the Jury was awarded to “Beynelmilel / International”.
• IST FF 2007 – Best Actress Award was given to Özgü Namal for her performance in “Beynelmilel”. Continue reading

Nezih Ünen – Anadolu’nun Kayip Sarkilari AKA Lost Songs of Anatolia (2010)

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Synopsis from Offical Site
A musical voyage among exotic places and people of Anatolia, unique host of ancient civilizations, empires as well as mythologies and glory of 10 millennia.

The fruit of 350 hours of footage, more than 40,000 km traveled and 133 recorded live performances, Lost Songs of Anatolia may be the first example of its kind as a documentary-musical film. The cultural riches of Anatolia are sung in authentic performances recorded live on location spontaneously. With the modern arrangements made, an incomparable musical is formed.

While this journey is showing how music and culture is derived from life, geography and work, an exploration of Anatolia’s versatile cultures takes place on a basis of music, dance and rituals. The staggering environment surrounding these people and influencing their lifestyles contribute the lyric flow of the film.
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Pelin Esmer – 11′e 10 kala AKA 10 to 11 (2009)

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10 to 11 is the story of a passionate collector Mithat and the concierge of the building, Ali. For Mithat Istanbul is as vast as his collections and for Ali is nothing more than a few blocks around the building. When the neighbors decide to have the building rebuilt with the fear of earthquake and the wish for a more valuable house, Mithat’s most challenging struggle to save his collections begins. The building becomes the common destiny of these two men living alone. Their relationship that begins with the collaboration to save the continuity of the collections changes track with Mithat’s handing Istanbul over to Ali and ends when they involuntarily change each other’s fate. (IMDb) Continue reading

Inan Temelkuran – Bornova Bornova (2009)

40ae Inan Temelkuran   Bornova Bornova (2009)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152 Inan Temelkuran   Bornova Bornova (2009)

The movie takes place in a time when dreams are reduced to almost nothing and when it’s difficult to remain sane. Ordinary life becomes a one greater expectation.

Salih and Hakan who spend their entire days in front of the grocery shop thinking we were given the chance. Salih is like a older brother to Hakan. Hakan has just came back from the mandatory military service. His football career ended before even it had started because of an injury. He is without a job or a vocation He hopes to be to be a taxi driver. Salih is the psycopath of the neigborhood. He’s the only person who listens to Hakan and gives him advices. Although Salih has grown up in a well meaning educated family he’s involved in every kind of illegal business in the neighborhood. Everbody is scared of him. High school girl Özlem included. Hakan is crazy about her but he never had the the courage to talk to her.
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