Turkey

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

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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”. Read More »

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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Inan Temelkuran – Bornova Bornova (2009)

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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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Metin Erksan – Sevmek zamani aka Time To Love (1965)

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An obscure gem, a hidden treasure to international cinema lovers; “Sevmek Zamani” is one of the best movies in Turkish cinema history. This cult film still remains as a cinematic enigma for the new generation in Turkey. Praised for its B&W cinematograhpy and regarded as a masterpiece, film follows the aesthetic tradition of Antoninoni. Also resembles some of Bela Tarr’s works with its visual sensibility; “Sevmek Zamani” is an eclectic mixture of modernist themes (i.e. individual loneliness), metaphysics (the fight of good vs evil), and notions of Marxism like director’s some other works. Metin Erksan is one of the first Turkish filmmakers who saw cinema as an art form apart from a mass entertaining medium.
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Zeki Demirkubuz – Kader aka Destiny (2006)

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“… an auteur with a genuine spiritual sensitivity … one of the world’s few convincing existential filmmakers”
“… works of genius elevate the soul.”

— Peter Keough, Boston Phoenix

Spoiler:
Review:
Bekir is in love with Uğur, Uğur is in love with Zagor… Like so many other love stories, this is a simple one-liner. It begins one day in a shop when a man is swept off his feet by a woman. In the course of time, Uğur comes to mean life itself for Bekir. Uğur always comes into the room when Bekir is asleep. For Bekir, sleep and life are akin to an angel or devil, defining on which side of the borderline he stands between sanity and insanity. From that moment on, Bekir finds Uğur beside him whenever he wakes up – which most of the time is in a different town. With Uğur’s presence, Bekir finds life freed of all its absurdity and given instead a single meaning: Uğur. As far as Bekir is concerned, there is no need now to look for any further meaning. His sole form of existence is being with Uğur; it no longer matters which town he is in, which streets he roams, at which tavern he drinks… Read More »

Kutlug Ataman – Ruhuma asla AKA Never My Soul (2001)

“Never my soul” is a phrase taken from the cliche sentence the good-Turkish-girl character says to her rapist in many old Turkish movies – “You can have my body but never my soul!”.

The film has at its centre a transsexual who is pretending to be Türkan Şoray, the real-life super diva of the Turkish Cinema. The transsexual’s true life is similar to the melodramatic plot of a Türkan Şoray movie. She was born a boy, beaten up by her military father throughout her childhood for exhibiting “effeminate” behaviour, taken to psychiatrists at the age of thirteen to cure her of her sexual “deviance,” and later beaten and tortured by a notorious Istanbul police chief. Now living in Lausanne, her kidneys have failed and she is on dialysis. She has to make her living through prostitution. Read More »

Ali Aydin – Küf aka Mold (2012)

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SYNOPSIS

Basri is a lonely man who seems to be floating in his own life. He watches over the railroads, walking the endless tracks through the abundant landscape of Anatolia. His only son, Seyfi, has been taken into custody 18 years ago and no one has heard from him ever since. After the death of his wife, Basri has slowly isolated himself from society. But there is still hope in his life, as he keeps on writing petitions twice a month to look after his son.. Read More »