of Reha Erdem
Turkey, 122′, 2013
MASTERCLASS: Florent Herry
A bitter conflict has raged between guerrillas and the army in Turkey’s Kurdish regions for over 30 years. Large expanses have now become war zones. Countless young people have lost their lives to the conflict. This dangerous but incredibly beautiful mountainous country is home to 17-year-old Jîn. But she is no longer safe since she secretly stole away from a group of rebels with whom she was fighting. Now she wanders the picturesque landscape alone, caught between two fronts. All of a sudden, the sound of gunfire and explosions rend the air above the untouched natural scenery. Attack is threatened from all sides. Desperate to find peace, Jîn decides to escape to another part of the country – an impossible plan, since the military is omnipresent and there are road blocks everywhere. As a Kurd without identity papers she risks arrest at every turn. In addition, as a woman with no family to shield her, many men will see her as fair game. But her courage is unbroken and the mountains are her greatest protectors.
Reha Erdem (Istanbul, 1960) is considered one of the greatest Turkish directors of all times. After studying film in Paris he made his debut with Oh Moon (Ay to A) in 1989, which won the Turkish Writers’ Association Award for Best Film of the Year. His second feature Run for Money (Kac Para Kac, 1999) – focusing on the internal conflict of a honest man who finds a suitcase full of money – was selected by dozens of prominent international festivals and eventually got an Academy Awards’ nomination as Best Foreign Film.
Such film started Erdem’s collaboration with cinematographer Florent Herry, a successful relationship continuing on all his fllowing works, for which he won many awards, including The Times and Winds (Bes to vakit) in 2006 (Toronto, Tribeca, Rotterdam, Rome), My Only Sunshine (Hayat var) in 2008 (Berlin, Toronto) and the acclaimed Kosmos ( Cosmos) presented at the 2009 Berlin film Festival and at the 47th Karolvy Vary, during a retrospective celebrating his work. Erdem’s last feature, Jin, which premiered at Berlin in 2013, got four awards including Best Film and Best Director at the 46th Antalya Film Festival.