This weekend, a new Turkish film festival gets underway in this historic city of Cambridge. Organised by film charity Balik Arts, Taste of Anatolia – Films From Turkey takes place over two jam-packed days, its programme including new or recently made documentaries, feature and short films from a diverse mix of directors whose stories are all set in Turkey.
SCREENINGS, VENUE & TICKETS
Below is the film programme. Entry to individual screenings are £3, or buy a festival pass for £10 or £15, which also includes entry into the festival’s closing party (starts 7pm) at Cambridge Union on Sunday evening. Tickets for screenings are available on the door (please bring the exact change) or buy online via Eventbrite.
All screenings will take place in the Main Lecture Theatre of St John’s College’s Old Divinity School. Food and beverages are not allowed in the venue, although water may be consumed in the event of hot weather. Strict age restrictions apply for the different films – team members can require ID checks if necessary. The Old Divinity School is fully accessible.
Address: St Johns St, Cambridge CB2 1TP. Opposite St John’s College.
SATURDAY 1 SEPTEMBER SCREENINGS
Sarı Sıcak / Yellow Heat + QA, 2017. Dir. Fikret Reyhan
Feature film (rated 15) in Turkish with English subtitles, 94 mins
Showing Saturday 1 September 2018, 11:00-12:25, Q&A 12:30-13:00
Squeezed by the increasing demands of industrialisation in the city of Mersin, an immigrant family struggles to survive by way of traditional farming. Their youngest son, Ibrahim, feels oppressed by the family’s backward outlook, not aided by the fact that his father Necip and brother Muhittin have given up any hope for change. By dreaming of a better future and making his own way, Ibrahim risks shaming his father who is respected as an honest man. Taking you as witnesses, “Yellow Heat” aims to tell the story of people who are affected by the commercialisation of relations in the context of the ever-expanding city, coupled with the complex quest that is the search of the self.
Koca Dünya / Big Big World, 2016. Dir. Reha Erdem
Feature film (rated 15) in Turkish with English subtitles, 101 mins
Showing Saturday 1 September 2018, 14:00-15:45
Ali and Zuhal are two teenagers who grew up in an orphanage with a bond as strong as between brother and sister. When Ali moves out on account of his age, Zuhal is put into the dubious care of a foster family and is no longer allowed to see him. In a desperate attempt to save Zuhal from a scheduled arranged marriage, Ali commits a terrible crime. As a result, both teenagers find themselves on the run, away from civilization and into the woods. There, in a secluded space deep in the forest, they try to start a new life in a mystical natural environment full of wonders and strange residents – but also real threats. One day, Ali finds Zuhal drenched in blood and is faced with no choice but to take her back to the city.
Benim Varoş Hikayem / My Suburban Story & Q&A, 2017. Dir. Yunus Ozan Korkut
Documentary (rated 12A) in Turkish with English subtitles, 79 mins
Showing Saturday 1 September 2018, 16:15-17:35, Q&A 17:40-18.10
A suburban neighbourhood in Adana, Ceyhan… The city is famed for its heat, fertile lands, tough guys, kebabs, rage and masculinity. Everyone has a thing to say about Adana. Now it’s the suburbans’ turn to speak, with complete sincerity about the extraordinary stories carved in the ragged walls of the city. With Yusuf the Snipe, Uncle Pele, village chief Naime, Drej Hasan and Rokko & his gang stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, this documentary will have you wondering whether reality is sometimes stranger than fiction… “My Suburban Story” portrays the sociocultural texture of the suburban city through the eyes of its twenty-one characters.
Kar / Snow, 2017. Dir. Emre Erdoğdu
Feature film (rated 18) in Turkish with English subtitles, 119 mins
Showing Saturday 1 September 2018, 18:30-20:30
Müzeyyen is a young woman who lives a drug-fueled, chaotic life outside the norms of society. Her half-brother Ali interrupts his successful bourgeois life
in Bolu when he learns of the existence of his long-lost sister after a fight with his father, during which he reveals his adulterous past. Using the holiday break between semesters, Ali lies to his parents to take a chance to reconnect with his sister. There, in a city of Anatolia, the legitimate child Ali will be tempted and tested by his sister’s alternative lifestyle and friends, while the illegitimate Müzeyyen will be in turn attracted by Ali’s hope and promise of a more comfortable life.
SUNDAY 2 SEPTEMBER SCREENINGS
Shorts from Turkey.
Showing Sunday 2 September 2018, 10:30-11:30
Tavşan Kanı Rabbit Blood, Dir. Yağmur Altan | 04:36
Just an ordinary day at an old mysterious Turkish country house where its residents have an extraordinary way of brewing tea.
İki̇ Yaka Yarım Aşk / Torn Love, Dir. Aşkım Nurdan Tümbek Tekeoğlu | 00:30
Ali moves to Turkey with his family during the 1924 Exchange and falls in love with Nergis in the village they settle in. Their paths cross in Istanbul many years later.
The Ant in the Sky, Dir. Román Cadafalch Garaventa
An audiovisual representation of the manifestations of life in and around the town of Bodrum, Turkey.
Journey, Dir. Matthew Bulkeley | 07:35
A young refugee woman, Asmen, is on a journey through a foreign country. Searching for shelter, kindness and a place to belong.
Room 302, Dir. Idriss Assoumanou
A young woman battling with nightmares in a hotel room, as the causes are slowly revealing themselves.
Reel Skills Behind The Scenes, Dir. Murat Yüksel
Forget Me Not, Dir. Yolanda Viola-Glapinska
An emotive response to the human condition of love and loss; and an interpretation of the dehumanisation of departed loved ones and the existential solitude experienced by border crossers.
In Response to the Boy on the Shore, Dir. Marissa Mireles-Hinds | 03:20
A visual poem about the death of Alan Kurdi in Bodrum, Turkey in 2015.
İki̇ Kardeş / Two Siblings, Dir. Uçar Nergiz & Asst. Dir. Mehmet Küpeli
A day in the life of two homeless siblings around the streets of Bodrum
Taksim / Hold’em, 2017. Dir. Michael Önder
Feature film (rated 12A) in Turkish with English subtitles, 89 mins
Showing Sunday 2 September 2018, 11:40-13:10
On a Saturday night, despite his fiancée’s pleas, the cynical Alper refuses to join the protests happening at his doorstep in the city of Istanbul. He just wants to stay at home for his weekly dose of poker with his old high-school friends. Alper’s game is however jeopardized as his friends start a series of passionate discussions on whether or not they should join the demonstrations. The game, starting at long last, is yet interrupted when the police disperses the protesters outside. Against Alper’s wishes, his friends open the door to two girls who seek refuge. Alper’s night then takes a turn for the worse when his fiancée returns from the demonstrations, injured, in the arms of a handsome stranger.
Daha / More, 2017. Dir. Onur Saylak
Feature film (rated 18) in Turkish + Arabic with English subtitles, 115 mins.
Showing Sunday 2 September 2018, 14:00-16:00
Gaza is a 14-year-old boy who lives on the Aegean coast of Turkey. Together with his domineering father, he helps smuggle refugees to Europe, giving them temporary shelter and scant food until they attempt their crossing. Gaza dreams of escaping this life of crime, but cannot help being drawn into a dark world of immorality, exploitation and human suffering. This story aims to explore the most unnerving question of them all: is it possible to avoid becoming a monster when you have been taught and raised by one?
Birayên Bêdengiyê / Brothers of Silence, 2017. Dir. Taylan Mintaş
Documentary (rated 12A) in Kurdish with English subtitles, 86 mins.
Showing Sunday 2 September 2018, 16:15-18:00
Located in Northeast Turkey, the province of Kars is tucked away between the Plato of Eastern Anatolia and Armenia. In this stunningly beautiful land known for its hot summers and harsh winters, the story of Brothers of Silence unfolds in front of our very eyes. The loosely scripted plot revolves around the family of the filmmaker’s mute cousins Toso and Çao Mintaş, whom he follows for four years. Respectfully carrying out his observations, Taylan Mintaş creates an intimate slow-burning movie “a la” Jean Rouch, utilizing meditative and melancholic moods combined with sharp images and breathtaking panoramas of North East Turkey, transmitting a new type of Turkish documentary making, a cinema verite in both style and storytelling of a new era.
Kuluçka / Incubation, 2017. Dir. Mehmet Selçuk Bilge
Feature film (rated 15) in Turkish with English subtitles, 94 mins.
Private screening and Q&A for Reel Skills participants only.
Incubation is mostly a whimsical, sometimes mysterious but also spooky tale set in two different worlds. After she moves in with her grandmother, a mysterious passage will change recently-orphaned Rüya’s life forever. While trying to save money to move to Italy as part of her dream escape, Rüya will lose the ability to tell whether the world she tries to run away from is more dangerous than the world she gets lost in. To achieve her dreams, Rüya must fulfil the tasks given to her by the natives of the fantasy forest she steps into, while also overcoming the obstacles set by her grandmother in the life she seeks to flee.