7 - 20 December 2001
WELCOME TO THE FESTIVAL
The 9th London Turkish Film Festival once again provides London’s Turkish speaking community and cinema-goers in general with a chance to see the best new Turkish films. An important aspect of the festival is the inclusion of films by Turkish film makers living in other countries and other films relating to Turkey.
This year’s festival includes: Tunç Basaran’s ABUZER BAKLAVA, a popular comedy in which the hero re-invents himself as a famous singer in order to raise money for a good cause; Semih Kaplanoglu’s stylish AWAY FROM HOME, the disparate journeys of three characters in search of identity and belonging; Sinan Çetin’s COMMISSAR SHAKESPEARE, the story of a tough policeman’s attempt to put on a play in his police station; Thomas Arslan’s sensitive portrait of an independent young woman living in Berlin, A FINE DAY; Ömer Kavur’s dark and mysterious arthouse thriller HOUSE OF ANGELS; Serdar Akar’s OFFSIDE, an entertaining melodrama set in the world of small town amateur football; Kazim Öz’s oblique look at the war in south-east Turkey, THE PHOTOGRAPH; Mehmet Eryilmaz’s documentary tribute to a celebrated Turkish poet, THE SONGS OF NAZIM HIKMET; Baris Pirhasan’s charming rights-of-passage story, SUMMER LOVE; Gani Savata’s TRIAL, chronicling the difficulties faced by a Kurdish family returning to their village; Yilmaz Erdogan & Ömer Faruk Sorak’s charming and hilarious comedy and box office sensation, VIZONTELE.
There will also be discussions with film makers and two programmes of short films.
Invited guests include: Ömer Faruk Sorak (director of VIZONTELE), Mehmet Eryilmaz (director of THE SONGS OF NAZIM HIKMET), Semih Kaplanoglu (director of AWAY FROM HOME) and Gül Dirican (scriptwriter of SUMMER LOVE) and Baris Pirhasan (director of SUMMER LOVE).
All the films have English subtitles.
We hope you enjoy the festival.
Vedide Kaymak & Charles Rubinstein
ABUZER BAKLAVA (Abuzer Kadayif)
Turkey 2000 / 90m / English subtitles
Director: Tunç Basaran
Cast: Metin Akpinar, Talat Bulut, Sibel Turnagöl
When sociology professor Ersin Balkan’s wife is murdered by street kids, he decides to build a facility for the education and rehabilitation of such kids. In order to raise the money, he decides to conceal his identity and become a famous folksinger, Abuzer Baklava. The only one who knows the truth is Abdu, a failed folk singer from Ersin’s home town, who also serves as his manager. Soon political parties try to draw Abuzer to their side, and the mafia want a slice of the action. A funny and fast-paced movie exploring the relations between mafia, media and politics.
AWAY FROM HOME (Herkes Kendi Evinde)
Turkey 2001 / 110m / English subtitles
Director: Semih Kaplanoglu
Cast: Erol Keskin, Tolga Çevik, Anna Bielska
As Nasuhi returns to the homeland he left behind years ago, his young nephew Selim is heading out to a new life. Olga, a Russian girl who has run away from home to search for her estranged father in Istanbul, learns that he has moved on to Sydney. While trying to raise the money to go to Australia, she gets into trouble. Together these three characters leave for the Aegean town that Nasuhi had abandoned 50 years ago. Selim has to make a decision either to sell his inheritance in Turkey, or leave them to Nasuhi, who needs to find his roots.
COMMISSAR SHAKESPEARE (Komiser Sekspir)
Turkey 2000 / 115m / English subtitles
Director: Sinan Çetin
Cast: Kadir Inanir, Müjde Ar, Okan Bayülgen
Commissar Cemil, a tough police officer, learns that his only daughter has a terminal illness. Realising that the idea of playing Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is the only thing that’s keeping her going, he sets up a theatre in his police station. He commences rehearsals with the current occupants – a prostitute, glue-sniffer, mobster and political prisoner – and some street children from the theatre troupe. Now, Cemil will either enter the TV competition that his daughter wants so desperately to win and risk losing his job. Or, he will fail to fulfil his daughter’s last wishes.
A FINE DAY
Germany 2000 / 74m / English subtitles
Director: Thomas Arslan
Cast: Serpil Turhan, Bilge Bingül, Florian Stetter, Selda Kaya, Hafize Üner.
The final part of Thomas Arslan’s acclaimed Berlin trilogy (after BROTHERS AND SISTERS and DEALER) centres on the kind of woman you rarely find in films: one who has absolutely no interest in conforming to stereotypes but wants to find her own way. Deniz, a 21-year-old Berliner of Turkish origin, is working as a dubbing actress on Eric Rohmer’s CONTE D’ÉTÉ. Outwardly dynamic and inwardly restless, her various encounters with others help her to reflect on what she is looking for. A FINE DAY is beautifully served by Arslan’s sensitive approach: his immense respect for his characters and for the dynamics of their Berlin environment.
HOUSE OF ANGELS (Melekler Evi)
Turkey 2000 / 109m / English subtitles
Director: Ömer Kavur
Cast: Talat Bulut, Hande Ataizi, Aytaç Arman
Ahmet, a former war reporter, visits Urfa to photograph deserted houses and stays with his old friend Ibrahim. The next day he witnesses a murder, which upsets his plans and transforms his life into a nightmare. Ibrahim mysteriously disappears and the police arrest Ahmet. Meanwhile gunmen are after him. In the midst of all this, he encounters Arzuhan, a young woman searching for the truth about the murders. In a race between love and death, Ahmet enters a merciless world of labyrinthine darkness, but refuses to abandon his search for the truth.
OFFSIDE (Dar Alanda Kisa Paslasmalar)
Turkey 2000 / 120m / English subtitles
Director: Serdar Akar
Cast: Müjde Ar, Savas Dinçel, Rafet El Roman
Thirtysomething Suat still lives with his parents and works at his father’s store when not practising as goalie for the local football team, Esnaf Spor. Suat is in love with Nurten, the neighbourhood beauty, but she has never responded to his many secret letters. The neighbourhood's greatest wish is for Esnaf Spor to win the amateur league championship. Serkan, a player who was hurriedly transferred to Esnaf Spor, has his first sexual experience with Aynur, a prostitute of Armenian descent, with whom his coach, Haci, is in love... This is an engaging story of everyday dreams and disappointments.
THE PHOTOGRAPH (Fotograf)
Turkey 2000 / 66m / English subtitles
Director: Kazim Öz
Cast: Feyyaz Duman, Nazmi Kirik, Mizgin Kapazan, Zülfiye Dolu
An imaginatively shot and revealing film following the stories of two young men travelling to the war zone in south-east Turkey by bus. They sit next to each other, each of them hiding the reason for his journey from the other. Who are they? Where are they going? And why? A strange kind of proximity and warmth develops between the two of them. The road, the cigarettes and the discomfort they have shared leaves a trace that will reverberate after their paths have separated.
SUMMER LOVE (O Da Beni Seviyor)
Turkey 2001 / 100m / English subtitles
Director: Baris Pirhasan
Cast: Ece Eksi, Lale Mansur, Luk Piyes
Summer 1973, Malatya, provincial south-east Turkey. When 12-year-old Esma is packed off to family friends in the country, Esma is over the moon to be reunited with her favourite ‘aunt’ and role model, Saliha, the black sheep of the family since deserting her prospective husband. Sneaking out at dawn to explore the streets of Arguvan, Esma runs into 18-year-old Hüseyin, who seems as excited by Saliha’s return as Esma. Esma feels the stirrings of an interest in him and looks to be well on the way to growing up. But she has yet to discover the difference between sweet dreams and not so sweet reality.
Turkey 2001 / 105m / English subtitles
Director: Gani Rüzgar Savata
Cast: Gani Rüzgar Savata, Levent Inanir, Neslihan Acar
The Barzan family are one among many families returning to their villages in the south-east after having left because of the terror. On their return, they find that other families, who were armed by the state as part of the ‘Protection System’ and did not leave, have taken over land that does not belong to them. They use their weapons for their own ends but later realize that killing is not the answer. They resort to the use of insults and try to break their honour in other ways.
Turkey 2000 / 105m / English subtitles
Directors: Yilmaz Erdogan & Ömer Faruk Sorak
Cast: Yilmaz Erdogan, Demet Akbag, Altan Erekli
The story of the arrival of television in a remote town in south-east Turkey. The year is 1974 and the sudden appearance of this innovation in this insular society brings with it many confrontations and comic events. The far-sighted mayor of the town, Nazmi Dogan, and crazy genius, Emin, are the main characters in this light-hearted comedy, which earlier this year smashed all previous box-office records for a Turkish film.
THE SONGS OF NAZIM HIKMET (Nazim Hikmet Sarkilari)
Turkey 2000 / 72m / English subtitles
Director: Mehmet Eryilmaz
With: Ruhi Su, Sümeyra Çakir, Cem Karaca, Timur Selçuk, Zülfü Livaneli, Inci Çayirli, Esin Afsar, Emin Igüs
This documentary tribute to the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet aims to bring his work to life using modern voices, introducing younger generations to his songs. The film explores just seven of the hundreds of songs based on Nazim Hikmet’s poems. The songs are performed by famous Turkish singers and musicians – Ruhi Su, Sümeyra, Zülfü Livaneli, Cem Karaca, Inci Çayirli, Esin Afsar and Timur Selçuk – and are accompanied by visual interpretations in the style of music videos. The film conveys Nazim Hikmet’s personality as well as his love for his country and people while remaining stylistically faithful to his work.