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What They’re Watching in Turkey This Fall

What They’re Watching in Turkey This Fall

Picture of Feride Yalav-Heckeroth
Updated: 5 October 2016
Apart from the ever-popular Hollywood blockbusters, Turkey has a prolific film industry that produces its own feature films (some better than others). We choose the best from among the current selections of Turkish language films in theaters.

Rauf

Directed by Soner Caner and Barış Kaya, this film follows the story of nine-year-old Rauf who lives in a village in Kars. Living under the shadow of constant conflict, Rauf decides to go on a journey to find the color pink for Zana, the girl he loves. For the small boy, the color pink represents his ideal of love, as well as the kind of hope and peace he has yet to witness in his life. A beautiful visual of village life in Turkey among the snow-laden valleys of Kars, Rauf is a story of childhood whims and dreams untarnished by the burdens of reality.

Kalandar Soğuğu

Set in the idyllic mountains of Northern Turkey, Kalandar Soğuğu (Cold of Kalandar) is a story of poverty as well as redemption. The protagonist, Mehmet, roams the mountains for days at a time in the search of gold, and even though this dream has paid off once, his luck has run out. To the grand dismay of his wife and children, Mehmet cannot pay off the family’s debts and has become a laughing stock in the village. When the snow begins to fall, Mehmet must take on a new venture and decides that instead of selling the family’s bull, he will train it to become a fighting bull. The slowly unfolding scenes not only show the natural world in all its stunning details but also the whirling variances of human emotions.

Koca Dünya

Director Reha Erdem won the Special Jury Prize at the 73rd Venice Film Festival for this beautiful film that tells the story of two lost souls who escape the world together to find peace away from the city. Koca Dünya (Big Big World) revolves around the story of an orphaned brother and sister, Ali and Zuhal, who are later separated when Zuhal is adopted by a family. When Ali finds out that the family is planning to make Zuhal their second bride, he commits a crime to save her. Leaving the city behind, they escape to the woods where nature really comes alive in all its details and the pair must learn how to live again.

Çok Uzak Fazla Yakın

No mention of Turkish films would be complete without a big love story, and Çok Uzan Fazla Yakın (Too Far Too Close) is this year’s big romantic tale. Known for his television shows, director Türkan Derya took on the big screen to bring a love story that begins during those young and naive university days and continues through the torrential stages of adulthood and all its burdens. The two protagonists of the film must face the changing nature of love as well as the ups and downs of their own lives, which sometimes leaves them wondering if love can truly be eternal. Make sure to bring a few tissues for this emotional tearjerker, and maybe a date.