bbbgtoby’s review published on Letterboxd:
Part 24 of the 30 Countries project.
For the purposes of this project this movie is classed as at least partially being of Turkish origin as per its listing on imdb.
Another piece of wonderful minimalist cinema (i'm nothing if not consistent) this time from a Turkish filmmaker making his debut feature. Yusuf, a political prisoner, is released from jail on health grounds and returns to the tiny village community he grew up in.
As you might expect from that premise this is a film with a political message which is at times forced upon the viewer, a distraction from the contemplative mood of the piece as Yusuf comes to terms with everything he gave up for his ideals, his new found freedom, his mortality and his struggle to reintegrate with village life.
Packed with beautiful vistas and long moody takes without dialogue it is the use of ambient noise, or at times a lack of, that most impressed and so the occasionally invasive use of melodramatic music only served to irritate rather than accentuate the moment.
The sub story of his connection with a young boy and a prostitute are pretty standard narrative devices but never feel arbitrary, which in itself is impressive but the emotional arc they guide you through places them as some of the more impressive uses of the trope I have seen.
Quality low budget world cinema from a strong new voice worth keeping an eye on.