Archive of films Hope / Umut

1970, 100 min

Section: Ten Best Turkish Films
Year: 2004

Cabbar, a poor wagon driver, battles with poverty in order to feed his family. As a last hope he buys a lottery ticket but, of course, it doesn’t pay off. The only choice now is to pin his hopes on buried treasure… Hope is the clearest example of the tremendous influence Italian neorealism had on director Yılmaz Güney. 


Having also been selected by several other surveys and polls as the Best Turkish Film, Hope represents a turning point in Güney’s career: it is a masterpiece which marks the end of the “ugly king” period and begins the “Yılmaz Güney phenomenon”… Hope is the first and most important example that reveals how much Yılmaz Güney was affected by Italian neorealism.  Neorealism – the cinematic movement that reflects the reality of poor, suppressed people without the use of clichés or artificiality - was not merely a source of inspiration for Güney: the film also shows that he contributed much to neorealism himself.. Cabbar, a poor coachman from Adana, struggles to support his wife, his old mother and his five children, under dire living conditions. The lottery tickets in which he has invested his hopes, bring him nothing, his luck has abandoned him. Debt collectors harass him, he is pushed around, humiliated, one of his horses dies and the other is confiscated. He has no other option but to search for some buried treasure... and Hodja indicates where it may be found. Yılmaz Güney depicts horrific poverty and despair with unprecedented sobriety. This directness does not prevent the film from attaining a mastery that can only be defined as ‘chilling’. The characters are well defined, the events are stirring, the social criticism accurate, and the resulting film leaves its indelible mark on the audience. Yılmaz Güney wrote the script, directed and acted in the film Hope. He also lived through it… The reality of the children beaten for the 25 kurush they spend riding a bicycle, the aggrieved women, the dog licking the milk, the dying horse. These images echo in the cinema like a cry from the screen. Hope is fortunately one of the “unburied” treasures of cinema history!

About the director

Yılmaz Güney (b. 1937 in a village near Adana, Turkey; d. 1984, Paris). The forbidding environment experienced by the hero in Hope was familiar to him. He studied law in Ankara and economics in Istanbul. In 1958 he published his first collection of short stories and began working with director Atıf Yılmaz as a scriptwriter, assistant director and actor. In 1963 he began a career in commercial cinema, writing and starring in heroic melodramas. He soon won admiration for his portrayal of ordinary men fighting against injustice. The early 1970s saw a fresh burst of creativity. Hope (Umut, 1970) and The Friend (Arkadas, 1974) became landmark films in socially committed Turkish cinema. The film The Road (Yol, 1982), which he edited in exile in France, shared the Palme d’Or in Cannes in 1982. That same year, he directed Le Mur (Duvar) in France.


Festival on Wheels - Ankara Cinema Association
Abay Kunanbay Cad 33/6, 06700, Ankara
Tel: +90 312 466 3484
Fax: +90 312 466 4331

Güney Filmcilik A.S.
Sakizagaci Cad. Güney Han No 2/1 Beyoglu, , Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 252 2544
Fax: +90 212 245 1304

About the film

Black & white, 35 mm

Section: Ten Best Turkish Films
Director: Yılmaz Güney
Screenplay: Yılmaz Güney
Dir. of Photography: Kaya Ererez
Music: Arif Erkin
Editor: Celal Köse
Producer: Abdurrahman Keskiner
Production: Güney Filmcilik A.S.
Cast: Yılmaz Güney, Gülsen Alnıaçık, Tuncel Kurtiz, Osman Alyanak
Contact: Festival on Wheels - Ankara Cinema Association, Güney Filmcilik A.S.


Ahmet Boyacioglu

Festival Organizer, Producer, Film Director

Tuncel Kurtiz


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