Burak Çevik's art house movie 'Aidiyet' to make country tour

Published 11.01.2020 01:59
A still from Aidiyet.
A still from "Aidiyet."

Burak Çevik's latest internationally acclaimed film "Aidiyet" ("Belonging") and "Tuzdan Kaide" ("The pillar of Salt"), his first film to not hit the big screens in Turkish theaters, met the audience at a special screening held at Beyoğlu Cinema in Istanbul on Jan. 9. Director Burak Çevik attended the screening, which was presented by Filmloverss, and answered the questions from the audience. The journey of "Aidiyet" will continue in Ankara, İzmir, Ardahan and Kars starting next week.

"Tuzdan Kaide," the first film by Çevik shot in 2018, is about a timeless and spaceless story of a reclusive woman in her 30s. Starring Zinnure Türe, Dila Yumurtacı, Esma Madra, Banu Fotocan, Elit İşcan, Nihal Koldaş and Nazan Kesal, the fantastic drama film made its world premiere at Berlin Film Festival and met a limited number of viewers in Turkey. In the production, a woman in her 30s, fixed in time, lives in a cave-like room. During her rare visits to the city, she chats with a boatman who is haunted by demons. She looks for her twin sister in the back of the beyond of the city. The same dream is told over and over again on this journey, which is broken from time with an uncertain space.

"Aidiyet," starring Eylül Su Sapan and Çağlar Yalçınkaya, won the Emerging International Filmmaker Award at the Open City Festival in London and the Best Film and Best Scenario awards at the Boğaziçi Film Festival. The film is based on the court records of a murder that took place in Istanbul 15 years ago and the director's personal memory. "Aidiyet" has been praised in publications such as The New York Times, Film Comment and MUBI so far, and entered the list of "The Best Undistributed Films of 2019," prepared by The Film Stage, one of the most prestigious cinema platforms in the world, a couple of days ago. In the list prepared by The Film Stage authors, "Aidiyet" was cited along with the latest films by master filmmakers Werner Herzog, Denis Côté, Lou Ye, Kiyoshi Kurosawa and Abel Ferrara.

In the movie, a 55-year-old woman living in one of Istanbul's suburban neighborhoods was stabbed to death by a stranger who broke into her home. As a result of the investigation into the murder, the victim's daughter and her daughter's lover were taken into custody. When the case was finalized in 2007, the court sentenced both of them to life imprisonment. "Aidiyet" followed the locations of this criminal case 15 years later, making a topographical observation accompanied by the testimony of the perpetrator at the police station, and then focusing on the night the couple first met. For "Aidiyet," Manohla Dargi said in The New York Times, "A tale twice told, the ingenious Turkish puzzle." The film will be screened at ataşehir Municipality in Istanbul on Jan. 13 at 7:30 p.m., at Kars City Theater on Jan. 15 at 7:30 p.m., at Dursun Akçam Cultural House in Ardahan on Jan. 16 at 7:30 p.m., at Kızılay Büyülü Fener Theater in Ankara on Jan. 17 at 7 p.m., at Karaca Theater in İzmir on Jan. 24 at 8:30 p.m.

Director of innovative discourse

Burak Çevik was born in 1993. Having graduated from the Cinema Department of Istanbul Bilgi University, he transformed his film-screening experiences, which started when he was an undergraduate, into a film platform called "Fol Sinema." He curated "Başka Haller" ("Other Cases") section of the !f Istanbul Independent Films Festival in 2016 and "Işığın Peşinde" ("In Pursuit of Light") section of the Istanbul Film Festival in 2017. "Tuzdan Kaide," his first feature film (2018), made its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival and competed in the Forum section of the festival.

The film did not have an opportunity to be screened in Turkey and met the audience thanks to special screenings at Adana and Istanbul film festivals and universities alone. Having received great praise for his innovative discourse of cinema, he was once again accepted into the Forum section of the Berlin Film Festival with his second film, "Aidiyet," and achieved significant success. In March 2019, "Aidiyet" premiered in the U.S. in the 48th New Directors/New Films, which has been co-organized by The Museum of Modern Art, considered the most important modern arts museum in the world, and Film Society of Lincoln Center, which has been one of the most important supporters of the independent cinema since 1969. The film brought its director the Emerging International Filmmaker Award at the Open City Festival in London and the Best Film and Best Scenario Awards at the Boğaziçi Film Festival.

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