Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Turkish film: Watchtower

I believe I've seen two previous films made in Turkey.  Yesterday's offering at the foreign film class was Watchtower, a 2012 movie directed by Pelin Esmer (a woman). It was both a beautiful movie to watch -- set in the mountains which went from verdant summer green to glorious autumn golds and reds. The new watchtower man needs to be alone to get over an accident that killed his wife and child.  The bus hostess who becomes a lunchette waitress has big trouble -- she's pregnant because her uncle has forced himself upon her.  It's very shameful, when she tells her mother, the mother only cries and offers no comfort. When the baby is born (one of the fastest primie deliveries on record but convincingly acted), the girl abandons the baby but the watchtower man sees her put it behind a fence and stagger away.  He saves the girl and then the baby; having had a child, he will not allow this one to die and insists the mother feed it. They talk very little, she in despair, he too bottled up to say much until a final shouting match. 

The audience, speaking for myself, wants the story to develop into a romance.  The director is more honest, she ends the story with some hope but without a moment of romance. The movie would be stark were it not set in such a beautiful place. It's a sensitive picture of two people, in a culture with serious restrictions about self-expression.  And it's beautifully acted, especially by the actress.

4 comments:

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

From your review I would say this is a story about the common complexities of life. It seems the director knows that complex situations need more than a romance ending. I like that kind of thinking -- barbara

June Calender said...

Barbara, it's very different from typical Hollywood fare. I think it's notable that a woman director is responsible.

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

I wanted to tell you that I think your gravestones header is wonderful. Is it a photo taken in your area? The stones appear to be a very early design. -- barbara

June Calender said...

Barbara,thanks for the remark and questions. This is a cemetery in Concord, Massachusetts. Yes, the gravestones go back to pre-Revolutionary times. The photo was taken in April of last year just as the huge old elm was sending out new leaves. I am waiting for such a day again this year!