Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s latest follows a would-be writer’s reluctant return to his native village, spinning an extensive series of conversational encounters into a typically rich, wry, melancholic mood-piece. When university graduate Sinan (Aydin Dogu Demirkol) returns to his parents’ home in the small, coastal town of Çan, he hopes to raise enough money to publish a book of stories inspired by his aversion to the region and its citizens. But his teacher father’s (Murat Cemcir) gambling debts affect not only Sinan’s mother and sister, but also his future as an author. This film has been selected by Turkey for the Best Foreign Language Academy Award nomination.
Introduced by Mr. Akil Öktem, Consul General of Turkey, and Mr. Kim Hyung Gil, Consul General of the Republic of Korea
In 1950, amidst the ravages of the Korean War, Sergeant Süleyman (Ismail Hacioglu) stumbles upon a half-frozen little girl. Süleyman risks his own life to save her by smuggling her onto his Army base where they form an inseparable bond. Not knowing her name and unable to communicate with her, Süleyman names her Ayla. Ayla brings an uncanny joy to the Turkish brigade in the grip of war. As the war comes to a close however, Süleyman cannot bear abandoning Ayla, and does everything within his power to take her home with him. Based on a true story, this powerful film features an international cast.
Invited to attend: Writer/director Fikret Reyhan
An immigrant family deep in financial debt struggles to survive through traditional farming, but determined son Ibrahim (Ertugrul Aytaç Usun) dreams of a different future for himself. Ibrahim is surrounded not only by his family’s feudal circumstances but also the merciless system of the region. However, he finds that it is not so easy to turn a dream into reality, and his actions will have unexpected consequences for both himself and for his family. A compelling drama, Yellow Heat has earned awards and acclaim at film festivals around the world.
About the Director
Born in Hatay, Turkey, Fikret Reyhan has a master’s degree in physics engineering. He directed his first short film, Üç Para (A Few Pennies), in 2009 and his second, Meta-morfoz (The Metamorphosis), in 2012. His documentary project The Foundation of Antiochia State and Its Inclusion in Turkey was put on hold at the editing stage because of the war in Syria. In 2013 he directed the short Kesit (Section) followed by a documentary, Mecliste Bir Gün (A Day at the Parliament House). Yellow Heat is his first feature film.
Writer/director/star Yilmaz Erdoğan scores big with this boisterous epic spanning decades recounting the story of a small town mayor and his three beautiful daughters. Aziz Özay (Erdoğan) protects his children’s virtue and his leadership of the town with the same fervour, but he cannot stop the girls from growing up—nor can he control the tide of history, which moves across Turkey in the form of political crisis. From grand mountain vistas to ribald humor, Sour Apples is a warm-hearted crowd pleaser.
Three siblings are called by their estranged father to urgently visit him in their home village. Cemal (Tolga Tekin) is an bitter astronaut in Germany, upset with the poor state of space exploration. Kenan (Bartu Küçükçağlayan) is a struggling actor whose career has dropped to the level of dubbing cat videos, and the youngest (Tuğçe Altuğ) wants to leave her husband. Upon the trio’s arrival, they learn of their father’s death and are instructed by his will to bury him "when butterflies come," which refers to a fairytale that their mother used to tell them. Winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival.
Welcoming remarks: Akil Oktem, consul general of Turkey; and Marian Luntz, curator, film and video
Invited to attend: Filmmakers Su Baloglu and Merve Bozcu
This documentary explores the challenges faced by female filmmakers in Turkey today. In Her First, women established in the Turkish film industry discuss their careers and recount the steps they’ve taken in their creative journeys. Travelling more than 3,000 miles over the course of two years, the filmmakers interview women such as İlksen Başarir (Love in Another Language), who shares how she cried alone in her hotel room before her first day as a director because she “did not know what to do.” Production manager Leyla Özalp explains how a passion project was never made because the producer demanded she put up her home as collateral for the film.
The audience is invited to a reception in the Museum galleries following the post-film discussion.
About Su Baloglu
Born in Cyprus, Su Baloglu graduated from Carleton University with a B.A. in film studies and returned to Turkey to complete her M.A. in cinema and television at Kadir Has University. She co-founded the production company Su Film and has produced fiction and nonfiction films, including the documentary short Women with a Movie Camera.
About Merve Bozcu
After working as an actor and theater director for many years, Merve Bozcu completed her B.A. in marine engineering at Istanbul Technical University and her M.A. in cinema and television at Kadir Has University. She has worked on various film projects and is in the development and financing stage for her feature-length psychological thriller.
Introduced by Patricia P. Hubbard, patron of the arts and MFAH film committee member
In this classic film noir directed by Otto Preminger, a detective (Dana Andrews) investigating the murder of Laura Hunt (Gene Tierney) finds himself falling in love with her painted portrait. As he investigates and interviews the scoundrels, charlatans, and egomaniacs of New York society with whom Laura surrounded herself, the detective is lured in by their universal testimony as to Laura’s decency, charm, and intelligence. Caught up in this unseemly passion, he begins to see his investigation as a battle for the dead woman’s soul.
“Few movies make you feel dirtier, and so perversely grateful for the pleasure.” —Time Out
“Less a crime film than a study in levels of obsession, Laura is one of those classic works that leave their subject matter behind and live on the strength of their seductive style.” —Chicago Reader
In the wake of Princess Diana’s death, the very private and tradition-bound Queen Elizabeth II (Helen Mirren) and the royal family remain stoic behind castle walls. As a heartbroken public becomes disillusioned with the queen’s absence, Britain’s new and increasingly popular prime minister, Tony Blair (Michael Sheen), battles to convince the monarchy that its desire for privacy could lead to its downfall. Mirren’s performance earned her the Oscar for best actress.