Wednesday
Jun262019

 
 

 

I’m Not Him / Ben O Degilim

(Winner of Best Film and Best Screenplay at the Istanbul Film Festival)  

Prolific writer – director Tayfun Pirselimoglu’s latest feature is a haunting cinematic meditation on the philosophical themes of identity, self and “the other”. Nihat, an introverted employee in a hospital cafeteria, is confused by Ayşe, a mysterious woman who just started working there as a dishwasher. Despite the rumors about her husband serving a long sentence in jail, Nihat reluctantly accepts Ayşe’s invitation to dinner at her house. This is the beginning of a strange and dangerous liaison. When Nihat discovers a picture of the woman’s imprisoned husband and realizes that he looks astoundingly like him, the relation becomes even more toxic.

 

Song of My Mother / Klama Dayika Min

(Winner of Best Film and Best Actor at the Sarajevo Film Festival)

Erol Mintas’ debut feature is a moving meditation on the themes of family, aging and cultural identity. Young teacher Ali lives with his aging mother Nigar in Istanbul’s Tarlabaşı district, home to many Kurdish immigrants since the 90’s. When the ongoing gentrification of the old city forces them to move for a second time, they end up in the soulless concrete desert of the city’s furthest outskirts. Nigar is convinced that her old neighbors have all moved back to their village in Eastern Turkey. Every morning she packs her belongings and sets out to return to her village. She roams the city, in search of her village and in search of the song that keeps returning in her dreams. Meanwhile Ali discovers that his girlfriend is pregnant, yet he is not ready to become a father. Torn between the two women in his life, Ali has to choose his own path.

 

Whisper if I Forget / Unutursam Fisilda

The latest film from Cagan Irmak, one of Turkey’s most beloved and popular filmmakers, tells the emotional love story of Ayperi and Tarik as they struggle against all odds to achieve their dreams of fame and fortune. A musical feast set in the 70s “Whisper If I Forget” explores the themes of love, friendship and ambition. 

 

Kusursuzlar / Impeccables

(Winner of Best Film and Best Director at Antalya International Film Festival, Best Foreign Film at Mexico International Film Festival, Best Film Romania International Film Festival)

In Ramin Matin’s powerful second feature two sisters in their early thirties find themselves isolated in the coastal summer cottage of their childhood. While their vacation starts well enough with sunny skies, blue seas and playful jokes, tensions soon start to build between the sisters. Now they must deal with their uneasy sibling relationship and confront the devastating secrets of their recent past. "The Impeccables" is part of a new wave of Turkish films gaining international attention, and is a tough, honest examination of violence against women in Turkish society.

 

Seaburners / Kumun Tadi 

Melisa Önel’s visually evocative debut feature follows Hamit, who commutes between Istanbul and a needy border town on the Black Sea coast, not too far from the big city. He is a have-not who has remained in this desolate region following a failed attempt to set up a livelihood abroad. Working for Ali, a coal merchant-turned-human trafficker, Hamit trucks coal into the city and illegal immigrants out of it; his sole consolation being Denise – a botanist who is in Turkey for a research project. Hamit cannot let her know that he works as a human trafficker, but Denise is increasingly tired of his mysterious behavior. The themes of the film focus on the physical as well as symbolic borders and barriers between people, places and dreams.

 

Koksuz / Nobody’s Home 

(Winner of Best Debut Feature and Audience Award at the Istanbul Film Festival) 

Deniz Akçay Katıksız's effective directorial debut tells the story of a gradually disintegrating family. After her husband´s death, Nurcan gives her eldest daughter Feride the father's responsibilities and by so doing alienates İlker and Özge, her younger son and daughter. As the only son, 17-year old İlker has been particularly devoted to his father. His fierce reaction to this new structure results in increasingly unstable behavior, which brings tensions within the family to a boiling point. The insecurities, worries and reactions of each of the members of this broken family are compellingly portrayed and the performances of real life mother and son Lale Başar and Savaş Alp Başar are outstanding.

 

Balik / Fish

The latest feature film from Dervis Zaim, one of the most authentic writer-directors of Turkish cinema, is an allegorical story that focuses on the human-nature relationship. Set in a small fishing town “Fish” follows the story of Kaya, a fisherman who’s trying hard to make ends meet for his family. Unable to cope with the pressures arising from his daughter’s mysterious illness and his financial difficulties, Kaya begins to use a dangerous and illegal fishing method. This decision has heavy consequences not only for the lake but also for all of the key characters in the story. Dealing with one of the most pressing issues of our time “Fish” explores the dilemma arising from our need to exploit nature versus the long term necessity to protect our fragile eco-system.

 

 Silsile / Consequences

(Best Director of Photography Award at the Istanbul Film Festival) 

Ozan Aciktan’s fast paced feature film is an urban crime thriller, a rare genre for Turkish cinema. On a hot summer night, after a hip party, Ece goes to Cenk’s place. Suddenly a thief appears at the house – Kılıç, a 14-year-old boy, who somehow manages to escape from the apartment. A moment later another thief, Tayfun, appears from the darkness. In self-defense Ece hits him with a heavy object. Tayfun collapses onto the floor, covered in blood. From this point on a chain of unexpected events are set in motion, which keep the audience guessing until the very end.