My memory is so weak. I forget everything. Do I forget everything in order to remember, or do I remember because I forget? Some small pieces remain. Images, like the fragments of this film: patchy, incomplete, meaningless on their own, in need of other fragments but doomed to remain alone.
We long for a meaningful whole, but are left only with vague segments, and can do nothing but hold on to them.
So let me tell you about mine.
August 2020: I’m abandoned two days before my best friend's wedding. I stand in an Anatolian city and look at ancient stones hugging each other. / September 2020: I drive around the Aegean coast of Turkey with my 20 years old VW Polo car. I look at my half-naked body in the dirty mirrors of gas stations. / October 2020: I want to see a ship left to rot. I have tea with a shipyard manager to gain access to the guarded space. I tell him I'm going to make a film about ocean liners. / December 2020: I’m in Berlin in the middle of the pandemic, looking at the footage I’ve shot and hoping it will tell me something. It insists on revealing nothing. Every day I buy croissants from the Turkish bakery across the street. I start to gain weight. / January 2021: I return to Istanbul and realize I want to break something. I break the widest wall of my house. / February 2021: I walk through the historic corridors of a snow-covered city on Turkey's eastern border and talk to a ghost on the phone. I tell her how much I hate my film, how unsuccessful and unnecessary it is. She smiles. / March 2021: I walk around the construction site of a museum, wearing boots and a safety helmet. I stand in the middle of the massive, unfinished site and decide this is where I will screen my film for the first time in Turkey. Afterwards, I will not screen it again for 14 years. I realize that I have made this decision in order to avoid sharing my film, even if it seems antithetical to the nature of cinema. I relax. / April 2021: The beds I sleep on, the sheets I leave marks on, the surfaces my body touches. I spend my days leaving traces. Do I want to leave a trace or do I want to disappear? / May 2021: I decide to not make this film. I put the hard drive aside. / June 2021: I dream of an elephant. I want to touch an elephant. I want to look into a pair of eyes that will never forget me. I take the first plane to go to the zoo in another city. / July 2021: I wake up feeling that I miss the film. I take out my hard drive again and edit until the morning. This time the images start to tell me something. / August 2021: I show a 20 minute cut of the film at a Work-in-Progress. A Taiwanese producer asks what the film is about. There is a long silence between us. I turn off my computer screen and tell him it's a technical problem. I go and wash my face. / October 2021: I wander in the woods with a ghost. It's raining, I'm cold, I think of Dante's woods. All I want is a hot lentil soup. The ghost says: I will make it for you. / December 2021: I meet with Erdem and Nesrin again. We reflect on the same text over and over again. They play the same text over and over again. The rehearsals never end. Everything becomes blurred when you get too close. We lose both reality and fiction. We only have fragments.