Archive of films Motherland / Ana Yurdu
Turkey / Greece
2015, 94 min
Section: Another View
Recovering from a divorce and fed up with her job, Nesrin leaves Istanbul and returns to her native village to finish the book she is writing. Instead of being able to collect her thoughts, however, she faces prejudice and injustices dredged up from the past. This debut feature presents a psychologically devastating portrait of contemporary Turkish society, which acknowledges emancipation but will not tolerate it.
Recently divorced, Nesrin quits her job and leaves Istanbul, having decided to return to the village she grew up in to finish the novel she’s writing. The Turkish countryside, however, doesn’t seem to be the ideal place for an emancipated woman with creative ambitions. Surrounded by a hostile regiment of matrons who have probably never stepped outside their front doors, Nesrin comes up against barriers and prejudice, which only intensify with the arrival of her similarly conservative mother. The latter, feeling she has wronged her own parents and children, longs to help her daughter, yet, in addition to their radically different outlooks on life, their attempts to find common ground are impeded by years of unresolved injustices. This insightful psychological portrait is another in a series of mature writer-director titles with a strong visual accent that have distinguished Turkish cinema in recent years. Thanks to the cyclical nature of wrongdoing depicted in the film, the fragmented story acquires an almost mythological aspect, while also serving as a mirror reflecting the current generational and religious divisions within contemporary Muslim society.
About the director
Senem Tüzen (b. 1980, Ankara) studied film direction at the Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul. As director or cinematographer she has thus far made several short features and documentaries which were favourably received at international festivals. Her short film Unus Mundus (2009) was awarded Best Short Film by the Turkish Film Critics Association, and that same year Milk and Chocolate (Süt ve Çikolata) was nominated for the same prize. In her writer-director feature debut Motherland (2015), which was premiered at Venice, she once again observes the tensions between the emancipated inhabitants of Turkish cities and rural dwellers with their traditional way of life, and examines the moral dilemmas associated with the choice of values open to each side.
About the film
|Dir. of Photography:||Vedat Özdemir|
|Editor:||Adam Isenberg, Yorgos Mavropsaridis, Senem Tüzen|
|Art Director:||Metin Çelik|
|Producer:||Adam Isenberg, Olena Yershova, Senem Tüzen|
|Coproduction:||TWO THIRTY FIVE, UCM|
|Cast:||Esra Bezen Bilgin, Nihal Koldaş, Fatma Kisa, Semih Aydin|
Producer, Sales Agent