Reviewer: Ed Farolan


There Where Atilla Passes

2015, Dir. Onur Karaman

Date and Venue 5 Dec @ 7:30 pm Vancity Theatre

This is the only film in the festival that's Canadian (Quebec), the first-ever production ever to come out of North America featuring a Turkish protagonist. I like this film, and what is intriguing is how Atilla ended up being adopted. We don't know until the end when his memory as a child comes back. Excellently directed by Turkish-Canadian director Onur Karaman and brilliantly acted by Emile Schneider as Atilla,and Quebec’s Roy Dupuis as a police officer trying his best to to connect with his adopted son.



Ana Yurdu (Motherland)

2015, Dir. Senem Tüzen

Date and Venue 5 Dec @ 3:45 pm Vancity Theatre

This film's title reflects a love-hate relationship between mother and daughter where we see the generational conflict between the traditional mother and a modern-day daughter. Although the film was not shot in high resolution with a lot of scenes shot in the dark and hard to visualize, I found the artistic technique of the filmmaker quite interesting. She takes shots from reflections on a TV set, for example. The ending is quite shocking, and is perhaps a reflection of how the contemporary Turkish woman rebels against tradition.



Sarmasik (Ivy)

2015, Dir. Tolga Karaçelik

Date and Venue 7 Dec @ 6:45 pm Vancity Theatre

This film is quite interesting, with surrealistic effects, like ivy sprouting from blood. That's where the title comes from. Drugs, hallucinations come into play when six crew members are abandoned in a ship whose owner goes bankrupt. A neat character study of six characters, almost like Pirandello's Six Characters, in search of redemption.



Abluka (Frenzy)

2015, Dir. Ermin Alper

Date and Venue 5 Dec @ 9:30 pm Vancity Theatre

With all the terrorist acts happening today, this film fits into today's framework. Awarded with the Special Jury Prize at this year's Venice Film Festival, the film deals with a dystopic Istanbul that is terrorized by a group of bombers. Our protagonist, Kadir, finds out too late that his brothers are involved, and thus, meets a tragic end. Although the film is masterfully shot, I found the pace quite slow and there was too much subtlety that the viewer had to figure out what was going on.


© 2015 Ed Farolan