Archive of films Distant / Uzak

2002, 110 min

Section: Ten Best Turkish Films
Year: 2004

After failing to be accepted to university, an energetic young man heads to İstanbul without managing to end his daydreaming ways. He fails to get a job and becomes the somewhat unwelcome guest of his relatives. He then devotes himself to a grandiose plan of working on a ship which will take him to foreign lands and faraway places…


The pastoral symphony which the director started with The Small Town and continued in Clouds of May, becomes more amplex when the hero arrives in the big city. The energetic youth whom we recognise from the first two films, with his two university failures, his continuing unemployment and dreams about Istanbul, resumes his quest...  He now finds himself a not entirely welcome guest in the house of an intellectual relative who has managed to establish himself in Istanbul, having exchanged his old problems for new ones... The young man plans to get a job on a ship and sail away to other countries, to distant places… Conveying characters’ interactions within the cramped domestic environment, Istanbul streets and sailors’ pubs, with touching authenticity, Distant is a film in which the viewer can easily identify with both characters. Dotted with elaborate images such as watching porn on video and switching to Tarkovsky to avoid being caught, or scenes depicting the small life details such as the hunt for a little mouse, Distant is a film that conveys life itself. Nuri Bilge Ceylan filters the events through his own memories and our experiences and, in doing so, proves that he would probably be able to communicate any story and the humanity within it, regardless of its setting, be it country, town, metropolis or outer space. It is not often that one comes across a film that seems so distant, yet is so infused with warmth, apparently tranquil yet exciting at the same time.The film Distant contributes much to Turkish cinema with its great script, dialogue, acting and cinematography. Sadly this was the last film for leading actor Mehmet Emin Toprak who was killed in a car accident last year.

About the director

Nuri Bilge Ceylan (b. 1959, Istanbul) studied filmmaking for two years at the Mimar Sinan University, after receiving his B.S. from the Faculty of Electrical Engineering at Boğaziçi University. His first short film Cocoon (Koza, 1995) was screened at the 48th Cannes Film Festival. He won many national and international awards for his feature debut The Small Town (Kasaba, 1997) and for his second feature film Clouds of May (Mayis sikintisi, 2000). Distant (Uzak, 2002) is his third feature film, in which Ceylan demonstrates his ability to develop a captivating story irrespective of its setting, be it country, city or external space. It is not often that one comes across a film which seems so distant, yet preserves the qualities of human affinity and sentiment.


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

NBC Ajans
Baskurt Sok. Ürgüp Palas Apt. 43/4, Cihangir, 80090, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 249 6962
Fax: +90 212 293 1008

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Ten Best Turkish Films
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Screenplay: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Dir. of Photography: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Music: Mozart
Editor: Ayhan Ergürsel, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Production: NBC Ajans
Cast: Muzaffer Özdemir, Mehmet Emin Toprak, Zuhal Gencer Erkaya, Nazan Kırılmış, Ebru Yapıcı, Feridun Koç, Fatma Ceylan
Contact: Festival on Wheels - Ankara Cinema Association, NBC Ajans


Ahmet Boyacioglu

Festival Organizer, Producer, Film Director


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