In a remote Turkish village, an ancient blood feud between two families has finally been put to rest, and a marriage arranged to seal the union; a man just released from a life in prison has been pledged to a teenage girl he has never met.
It is their wedding night and there are customs and rituals to be observed. But fearful of their consummation, the bride distracts her broken husband with tales, rounding out the hours as dawn draws ever nearer. Events become ever stranger as the claustrophobic night finally reaches a shattering conclusion.
Lyrical and intense, Night of Silence (Lal Gece) is an unforgettable piece of cinema with two brilliant performances at its heart.
Directed by: Reis Çelik
Cast: Ilyas Salman, Dilan Aksut
The sixth feature from acclaimed Turkish director Reha Erdem, Kosmos is a profoundly imaginative and cinematic journey that bursts with philosophical ideas, mystical subplots and some truly surreal moments.
Kosmos (Sermet Yesil) appears as if from nowhere, on the outskirts of a snow swept border town, and rescues a local boy from drowning in the river. He is hailed a miracle worker and the townsfolk quickly welcome him into their community. But as Kosmos becomes entangled in the lives of the locals, it is less and less clear whether he is a force of good or evil – he performs miracles, climbs trees, smashes shop windows, steals money and engages in a bizarre love affair with a local girl. Meanwhile satellites crash to earth, wild geese roam the streets and military troops prepare for war as this singular film builds to its dizzying, surreal climax.
Directed by: Reha Erdem
Cast: Sermet Yesil, Turku Turan, Hakan Altuntas, Sabahat Doganyilmaz
Produced by: Cemal Noyan, Kalinovi brothers
Written by: Reha Erdem
Director of Photography: Florent Herry
Bal (Honey) which won the coveted Golden Bear Award at last year's Berlin Film Festival.
Bal (Honey) is the third part of the Yusuf Trilogy, by Semih Kaplanoglu, one of the most acclaimed writer-directors of contemporary film making in Turkey. The first two films in Kaplanoglu's reverse-order trilogy were screened at festivals around the world, Egg (Yumurta) picking up over 30 awards in total and Milk (Süt) earning Kaplanoglu the FIPRESCI prize at the Istanbul Film Festival. Yumurta (Egg) and Süt (Milk) will be released in cinemas in the UK in conjunction with Bal (Honey).
Set in an isolated region in Northeast Turkey, Bal (Honey) arrives at Yusuf's childhood when six year old Yusuf has just started primary school and is learning how to read and write. His father Yakup works as a honey-gatherer, a risky trade which involves climbing up ropes into the tops of trees where the hives are. To Yusuf, who accompanies his father to work, the forest becomes a place of mystery and adventure, and he watches his father in admiration as he works sometimes higher than the eye can see. Yusuf and his father have a very strong bond and although he is tongue-tied to the point of stuttering paralysis in social situations, he can read and speak quite clearly when he's addressing his father.
Ridiculed by his classmates for his stammer, Yusuf's anxieties escalate when his father must travel to a faraway forest to hang his hives in a treacherous mountainous area. Days pass and Yusuf and his mother become anxious when Yakup doesn't return. Distraught, Yusuf slips into silence but finally summons all his courage and alone, runs deep into the forest to search for his father. A journey into the unknown.
A multi-layered and visually stunning film, Bal (Honey) is a beautiful meditation on familial love and the mysteries of nature.
Also Kaplanoglu's Yusuf Trilogy AVAILABLE AS A DVD BOXSET OCTOBER 3rd
Spanning the divide between Europe and Asia, Istanbul's gridlocked Bosphorus Bridge is the focal point of MEN ON THE BRIDGE, a wonderful portrait of life in the rapidly changing sprawl of today's city. Following the lives of three young inhabitants from the suburbs who use the bridge daily, the film uses non professional actors to tell their individual stories as their paths occasionally cross and they struggle to realise their aspirations.
Unemployed Fikret illegally sells roses in the traffic jam on the bridge, and would do anything to have a real job. Umut drives a shared taxi, crossing the bridge every day, hoping that the work will allow him to rent a better apartment to satisfy his wife Cemile. Traffic cop Murat, who is stationed on the bridge, feels alone amongst the solid line of cars. Every night at home, he logs onto the internet, hoping that he might one day find love on line. Originally from Eastern Turkey, he finds the city a lonely place.
Unaware of each other Fikret, Umut and Murat intersect in the rush hour every day, along with millions of other Istanbulites, coping with the challenges of life in this frenetic city. Their stories are simple and universal, and are bought alive by the first rate performances of the excellent cast.