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"From Far Away" is a documentary about a trip through Turkey that Thomas Arslan took in May and June 2005. The route was from Istanbul and Ankara to Gaziantep in the southwest of the country and from there further east through Diyarbakir and Van to Dogubayazit, near the Iranian border. What the film shows has nothing to do with the usual motifs from today's Turkey: impressions of daily life in the western cities, like Istanbul and Ankara, but also regions in the country's east that were fought over until recently. It is not journalistic reportage, but presents the filmmaker's personal view of this country. "For me, making films does not mean having ideas, but being precise. The difficult thing is to start from what you see and not from something prefabricated. With "From Far Away", I wanted the viewer to receive an image of this country that cannot be immediately subsumed in a theory, not a mere illustration of something already known. I wanted to open my gaze for simple, concrete things, for daily life in Turkey. It was clear to me that, on the one hand, this film would emerge only gradually while shooting it, and that at the same time the first shots would already give it a direction. In the Istanbul segment that begins the journey, I feel my way in this direction. I wanted to arrive and take a look. But I wanted to intervene in what went on in front of the camera as little as possible. As much as possible, things should explain themselves." Thomas Arslan

Production: Pickpocket Filmproduktion, ZDF/3sat

World Sales: Pickpocket Filmproduktion

German Distributor: Peripher Filmverleih

Cinematographer: Thomas Arslan

Sound: Andreas Mücke-Niesytka

Editor: Bettina Blickwede

Sound mixer: Martin Steyer

Format/screen ratio: 35mm (shot on Super 16mm), 1:1.66, Color

Running time: 89 minutes, 25 frames/sec.

Languages: German, Turkish

Funded by:

  • Logo Minister of State for Culture and the Media
  • Logo des Programms NeuStart Kultur