Mihram is a small time Turkish black marketeer who gambles and drinks too much. Something that bothers both him and his wife, Elif. He wants to better his life and when he hears about the enormous amount of cell phones being sold, he wants to enter that market. For this, he needs money and when the local doctor asks him to get medicine from Azerbaijan for the sick children, he sets out to get the medicine, aided by his crotchety elderly uncle Fazil. (IMDb) Read More »
Tag Archives: Ben Hopkins
A European director is commissioned to make a documentary about Istanbul. He starts to film its everyday life – but soon becomes drawn to the darker, more mysterious side of the city – its past, its secrets, its ghosts. Gradually he succumbs to obsession. Read More »
portrait of the Kirghiz tribe, living a quasi-Iron Age existence in one of the remotest places on earth.
37 Uses For A Dead Sheep is a documentary with a sense of humour. However, as he recounts the eventful history of Central Asian tribe the Pamir Kirghiz, director Ben Hopkins stays on the right side of Borat-style ethnic mockery, treating his subjects with affection and esteem. He also turns a few of them into film stars in a range of reconstructions that entertainingly reveal the community’s journey over the last century or so.
Evocative title, that. Could the film itself possibly match it? Director Ben Hopkins finds the Pamir Kirghiz, a small Central-Asian tribe now living in eastern Turkey, and works together with them to craft a fleet-footed, intriguingly pomo documentary about this little-known group of nomads. Hopkins uses the tribes people to reenact moments from their history (shot in grainy 16mm), then shoots himself shooting them, then interviews them about it, while intercutting it all with images of their life today, in a village the Turkish government pretty much settled just for them. Oh yeah, there’s also a framing device in which the director talks to an old Kirghiz man about—you guessed it—all the things they can do with a dead sheep. It’s all very meta, but once Hopkins reveals the odd backstory of this people, pingponging between the Great Powers (Russia, China, the U.K.) who controlled their homeland at various times, it’s hard to think of a more appropriate approach to this material. The result is an inventive look at some truly unwitting victims of history’s relentless, unforgiving march. Read More »