Written and Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Screening at from 8th-11th March
This is a brutally realistic depiction of a break-up of a relationship.
At times it is almost too painful to watch, partly because it recalls
similar situations I (and I'm sure a lot of the audience) have been embroiled
Director Nuri Bilge Ceylan ('Uzak') plays the role of the male protagonist,
Isa, while his real-life wife, Ebru, is equally impressive as his tormented
girlfriend, Bahar. The coldness and antipathy between them on screen is
at times harrowing. Why are they still together? Afraid to be alone? Afraid
to be without a partner? Surely being on your own - which is not necessarily
the same as being lonely - must be better than enduring this tortured
Isa continues attempting to win back the affections of Bahar, despite
loss of self respect, despite the loss of respect towards him from Bahar,
despite, despite.....But ultimately it is doomed to failure. There is
no chance of reconciliation, even though near the end of the film, when
she visits him in his dingy hotel room, there promises to be a thawing
of their own personal cold war.
The film raises lots of questions, not only about the fragility of relationships,
but also the ever-increasing alienation in the world, loss of spiritual
values, and chronic loneliness.
But it is not a film that will lead you to slit your wrists. The photography
of Ceylan is beautiful at times, notably his lingering landscape shots,
the beguiling shots of snow falling (absolutely gorgeous) and equally
so in his close-up work, particularly when he focuses on the faces of
Isa and Bahar as they agonise. You can tell what they are thinking about
each other without a word being uttered. Indeed, the eyes are the windows
of the soul.