Yilmaz Güney – Seyyit Han: Topragin Gelini AKA Bride of the Earth (1968)


Seyyit Han is a man with many foes. One day he falls in love with Mürsit’s sister, Keje. Mürsit is fine with them marrying, only on one condition: Seyyit Han has to get rid of his enemies to offer a decent life for Keje. Having set on a journey to do so, one day he victoriously returns to his hometown: the day Keje is marrying another man. Continue reading

Yilmaz Güney & Zeki Ökten – Düsman AKA The Enemy (1980) (DVD)


Ismail is out of work despite am obvious willingness to do almost anything to earn enough to provide for his family. He is too well educated for the jobs he hopes to find, but not well enough connected to find the work he is capable of doing. He joins the labour market (much like the colonial slave markets of the 18th century) daily, only to return to his beloved and beautiful wife demoralized and without money. His wife, her mother, and their baby are totally dependent on him, so he submits to two humiliating tasks: poisoning the local stray dogs and begging his father for part of his inheritance. (IMDb) Continue reading

Yilmaz Güney & Serif Goren – Endise (1974)

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Endise is the story of cotton workers in southern Turkey.

Yilmaz Guney was born in 1937 in a village near the southern city of Adana, Turkey. His father is a Zaza from Varto, Turkey and his mother is a Kurd from Siverek, Turkey. Güney studied law and economics at the universities in Ankara and Istanbul, but by the age of 21 he found himself actively involved in filmmaking. As Yeşilçam, the Turkish studio system, grew in strength, a handful of directors, including Atıf Yılmaz, began to use the cinema as a means of addressing the problems of the people. Only state-sanctioned melodramas, war films and play adaptations had previously played in Turkish theaters, but these new filmmakers began to fill the screens with more artistic, personal and relevant pictures of Turkish/Kurdish life. The most popular name to emerge from the Young Turkish Cinema was that of Yılmaz Güney. Güney was a gruff-looking young actor who earned the monicker “Çirkin Kral,” (“the Ugly King”). After apprenticing as a screenwriter for and assistant to Atıf Yılmaz, Güney soon began appearing in as many as 20 films a year and became Turkey’s most popular actor. Continue reading