Saturday, April 23, 2005


This film is mostly a character study. It was often long, difficult to watch, yet I won't forget it.

Set in Istanbul, the movie presents an interval of the lives of two men, Yusuf and Mahmut. Yusef is a young working-class man who has seen his expectations turned upside-down at the beginning of the film. He moves into the apartment of Mahmut, a mostly successful commercial photographer who has recently been divorced. Throughout the movie, Yusef is trying to find a job 0n a ship and Mahmut is trying to understand how to be divorced. Both are attempting to find ways to salvage dignity and autonomy from conditions they weren't prepared for. Yes, there's something of the middle-class mid-life crisis here, but it's entrenched within the particulars of the global economy: Yusef speaks endlessly about US dollars, and one feels that his goal in travelling is not knowledge but oppertnity; Mahmut, as more financially stable (indeed, the main tenant who subcontracts to Yusef to provide the impetus for the plot), has the leisure to be more existential. He has no idea what t0 do with himself, now that his wife has left him--and, at the end of the film, when Yusef has shipped out.

One of the reasons I like this movie is that at first you think that Yusef is the main character. Mahmut is just that skinny, friendly guy watching porn when he thinks nobody is paying attention. Yet gradually, you understand that Mahmut's is the complex psyche that might not heal. And the more beautiful phtography tends to adhere to him.

"Distant." Turkey, 2002. Dir.: Nuri Bilgel Ceylon.


Anonymous Anonymous:

Sorry for omitting to sign - I posted the above.

12/08/2005 02:22:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home