Sunday, September 09, 2007

Yol, 1982

Yol, 1982 [The Road]

"Basically in Yol I wanted to talk about the oppression people live through. I never intended to depict it as though the government alone were to blame. At any rate, that wouldn't be telling the truth. Oppression arises not only from the government but also from the fact that in their lives people are ruthless among each other (and that's closely linked with the social and economic conditions of life). That ruthlessness stems from a feudal background that western countries experienced in the Dark Ages. In concrete terms I mean the traditions, mores, way of life and obsolete ethics. When you consider both these forms of oppression simultaneously, you can comprehend the general coercion of the system. On the one hand the social pressure people exert on one another and which is due to feudal remnants and on the other, government pressure from the top by force of arms. Those two forms of oppression are part of a system and we must consider the system as a whole."

"I'm a politicized person but I have a different approach to art. I don't consider cinema as a tool meant to express a theoretical truth. Me, I talk about people's suffering at the heart of life. I'm against a cinema based on slogans, a cinema reduced to the role of a propaganda machine. I'm against a didactic concept of cinema. However, I strongly believe that my art has a political content. That it has a powerful impact on the masses. I owe it to myself to use an artistic language. For political reasons I write articles and hold conferences. But a movie theater isn't a conference hall. One must distinguish between those two different languages."

Yilmaz Guney

At a "half-open" detention facility and work camp on the island of Imrali, a group of hopeful, but resigned men ritualistically converge on the entrance of the main penitentiary ward: first, for the disbursement of weekly mail and subsequently, for the eagerly anticipated posting of the list of prisoners authorized for a one-week furlough. A soft-spoken, unassuming man named Yusuf (Tuncay Akça), dispirited by the scarcity of letters from home, seemingly finds his fortune changed when he finds his name among the privileged list of furloughed prisoners. Mehmet (Halil Ergün), a pensive and conflicted man faces his trip to Diyarbakir with great trepidation and anxiety, having found his marriage increasingly strained when his wife begins to question his role in her brother's death during a bungled robbery. A vibrant and self-assured young man, Mevlat (Hikmet Çelik), finds his romantic notions to reunite with his fiancée Meral (Sevda Aktolga) thwarted when her family dispatches chaperones in order to prevent the couple from being alone. An idealistic and apolitical man named Omer (Necmettin Çobanoglu) who daydreams of his idyllic life amid the lush, grazing open fields of his beloved village in Kurdistan returns home to the chaotic sight of his town under siege by the military as they attempt to root out suspected insurgents in the closely knit community. A rugged, unemotional prisoner named Seyit (Tarik Akan) receives a letter from his family explaining that his wife Ziné (Serif Sezer) had dishonored their clan by resorting to prostitution, and was sent with their son to her parents' home at a mountain village in the frozen hinterlands. Now issued a temporary permit to return home, he vows to redress the shame of his wife's infidelity and restore honor to both families.

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