Yesim Ustaoglu – Tereddut AKA Clair Obscur (2016)


“Clair Obscur” is the psychological dance of two women who are deprived of and distanced from their natural right to mature and discover themselves, to love and be loved, and to sustain a real relationship of their choosing. The social cost of these psychological wounds reverberates from micro to macro levels throughout society, rotting it from within. Continue reading

Yesim Ustaoglu – Araf (2012)



There isn’t much that can prepare you for the drastic second-half turn of “Araf,” an often-gorgeous drama playing in the Main Slate at the New York Film Festival. Evocative and somewhat alien in equal measure, “Araf” takes place in a withered Turkish countryside that might as well be another planet. We see the economic strife through the lava runoff that occurs in the very first shot of the film, lumbering out of a cauldron, spilling out onto the land. Though fairly mundane within the lives of the characters (one of whom is discussing sex in voiceover as the orange-red substance burns all that lies underneath it), it’s an introduction that rivals the eye-opening early shots of Ridley Scott’s “Prometheus,” though while it was that film’s high point, here it’s an example of a world dying while underdeveloped, neglected, managed and monitored by day laborers barely getting by on their own. Continue reading