Author’s Choice: My Favourite Three Cult Turkish Movies
It is hard to choose 3 Turkish films to say they are cult films. The main reason is that in order to talk about cult films of a country’s cinema, that country’s cinema must constantly touch upon the extremes of cinema in different ways; the directors must experiment with different styles and their trials must transform into a style. I mean, the production of a significant number of genre films other than comedy, horror or drama and the acceptance of experimental cinema create an atmosphere for cult films. If Turkish cinema had spanned a wide range of genres and maintained a continuity, the audience then would become qualified to determine which movies can be called cult films. Therefore, I chose 3 films which the directors were brave enough to tell their brilliant stories for Turkish Cinema and its audience with their unique and also controversial styles.
Directed by Yılmaz Güney and Şerif Gören Seyit Ali and 4 other Kurdish prisoners are granted one week’s home leave from Imrali Prison. Each of the prisoners has their own story. But they face continued oppression outside of the prison from their families, their cultures, and the government. The film is a portrait of Turkey in the aftermath of the 1980 Turkish coup d’état. It has caused much controversy in Turkey and was banned until 1999. However, it won numerous honours, including the Palme d’Or at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.
Dönersen Islık Çal
Directed by Orhan Oğuz This is the story of a little person who works as a bartender and a transvestite who makes a living by working as a prostitute in Beyoglu, one of the most magnificent places in Istanbul. When their paths cross, a friendship begins between these two outcasts and two unwanted people. Their friendship is a revolt against the society that alienates them.
Sari Mercedes (Mercedes Mon Amour)
Directed by Tunç Okan Bayram is one of the thousands of guest-workers who moved to Germany with the hope of having a better life. After saving enough money to buy his dream yellow Mercedes, it is finally time for him to return home to Turkey. However, his journey won’t be easy. The film tells the difficulties he encounters on the way home. Bayram is the perfect representation of Turkish society in 80s and 90s.