light gazing, ışığa bakmak

Friday, September 5, 2014

Sivas, by Kaan Müjdeci

que o cinema turco está a viver um momento de boom, parece evidente: inúmeros realizadores jovens, primeiros e segundos filmes, personalidades e cores muito distintas, a poder dizer agora (apesar das notícias) aquilo que não foi possível dizer durante décadas. Ceylan ganhou Cannes, em Veneza está um filme de estreia de Kaan Müjdeci (em Portugal o primeiro jornalista que escrever bem o nome ganha um doce), Sivas. quanto tempo vou ter de esperar por um e por outro? uma eternidade.

Bem dito, bem feito e encontro este texto em the gulf times:

In the days that will follow the opening night, Turkish cinema may well hold centre stage. This is not just 100 years of the country’s movie industry, but also the dawn of a realisation that Turkey is capable of creating some great work on screen.

We saw an example of this last May at Cannes, when Nuri Bilge Ceylan, showed his brilliant Winter Sleep. Tracing the life of a former theatre actor – who grapples with newspaper columns, the small hotel he runs in a remote mountainous region and the moods of his pretty, young wife and divorced sister – Winter Sleep clinched Cannes’s highest trophy, Golden Palm, and later became Turkey’s official Oscar submission in the foreign language category. Not just this, Ceylan and Winter Sleep appear to have nudged the world into wakefulness about Turkish cinema.

Interestingly, this cinema will be quite visible at Venice this year. Veteran Fatih Akin will showcase his The Cut, while newcomer Kaan Mujdeci will unroll his Sivas.

Akin caused a furore last April when he withdrew The Cut from the Cannes Film Festival lineup citing “personal reasons”.  The movie starring French actor Tahar Rahim, focuses on the touchy issue of the 1915 genocide of Armenians in Turkey under the Ottomans. The Cut is the final part of Akin’s trilogy called, Love, Death and the Devil. The first two films were Head-On and Edge of Heaven.

While 20 countries see the 1915 mass killing as genocide and hold Ankara responsible for it, the rest of the world ignores this issue, preferring to maintain a relationship with Turkey, which has been living in denial of the whole thing.  

And obviously The Cut has become a point of friction between Akin — who now lives in Germany and whose cinema combines political and social criticism with a bit of humour — and Turkish nationalists. The fact that Akin makes great pictures which have won international acclaim does not cut ice in Turkey. For some Turks, the genocide is absolute taboo.

The radicals in Turkey have now called for a boycott of The Cut, competing for the Golden Lion at Venice. They have also issued death threats against Akin, and said he would not be allowed to enter Turkey.

(All this seems like a replay of what is happening in many parts of the world. Iran does not tolerate screen dissent. Jafer Panahi is under house arrest and banned from making movies for a long time. China is as ruthless with helmers who do not toe the official line. In India, films run into problems too: even after they are duly censored, some political organisation or the other finds something to quarrel about and tries its best to stop screenings. There has been a spurt in such incidents of late.)

Akin’s original plan was to direct a movie on the late Armenian journalist, Hrant Dink, who sought a dialogue between Armenia and Turkey. He also wrote a great deal about the genocide. In January 2007, he was shot dead in broad daylight.

His murder shocked and angered both liberal-minded Turks and Armenians, and they demanded the repeal of an Act under which anyone found accusing Turkey of the genocide could be jailed. Even the Nobel Laureate, Orhan Pamuk, was tried for talking about the genocide to a Swiss newspaper. The charges against him were dropped after a huge international outcry.

Given the dangerous trend, it is not surprising that Akin could not find a Turkish actor willing to portray Dink. The director had to give up this project, and take on The Cut – where a young man, Nazareth Manoogian (Rahim), who survives the genocide realises that his daughters may be alive. He search for them takes him to Turkey, Syria, Cuba and the US.

As for Kaan Mujdeci’s Sivas, it is non-controversial. Set in the Anatolian province of Yozgat, Sivas follows the life of an 11-year-old child and his friendship with a fighting dog. The Festival Director, Alberto Barbera, told the media recently that Mujdeci “had great talent. He is a real cineaste and we want him to be better known as a director.”

embora Fatih Akin não conte assim tanto: vive na Alemanha o realizador de Soul Kitchen. dele, para ver: Head-On, de 2004.

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e confirmou-se: Prémio Especial do Júri para Sivas.

Il Fatto Quotidiano newspaper said that "'Sivas' is a total immersion in an archaic, peasant world of sheep and grazing, houses carved out of rock and a civilization that seems to have stopped a century ago pivoting on male violence and domination."

"Men are a problem in this world," says Mujdeci, who is based in Berlin. "Everything bad that happens on the planet is due to men whether they be mayors, heads of government or soldiers. I would prefer a world governed by women with a sperm bank for reproduction," he quipped.


e uma boa entrevista com Akin sobre The Cut, aqui.

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