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Fourteen-year-old Hayat, no longer a child but not yet a woman, lives with her father and grandfather, who suffers from asthma, in Istanbul. Her father works as a fisherman but makes most of his money through shady dealings. He supplies the big ships that are waiting to pass through the strait with alcohol, women and other goods.

Even more corrosive than this family's poverty is the callousness and stifling indifference the main characters display toward themselves and above all toward Hayat. Emotional relationships are reduced to quid pro quo dealings in which nothing is for free.

Water takes on a special, almost symbolic meaning in this film. Again and again the camera pauses to look out over the water and observe the play of the waves or the way the sun glitters on the water's surface. In the distance, seen from the water, the beautiful and dangerous city of Istanbul also plays a vital role. The narrow river next to which Hayat lives seems to reflect her restricted living conditions, but it flows into the Bosporus where in breathtakingly beautiful shots the camera circles the hulls of the huge cargo ships. Is it possible to emerge unscathed from cold and brutal relationships? Only the wide perspective the open sea grants, allows a wary yes.

Anna Hoffmann

Production: Atlantik Film Yapım Ltd., Istanbul; Cinegram S.A., Athen; Kaboal Ltd., Sofia

Screenplay: Reha Erdem

Camera: Florent Herry

Cast: Elit İşcan, Erdal Beşikçioğlu, Levend Yılmaz, Banu Fotocan, Handan Karaadam

Format: 35mm, Color

Running Time: 121 min.

Language: Turkish

Funded by:

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