Violence is to charge 600 Euros - Public Land II

Head­lines about the con­se­quences of the eco­nom­ic and social crises and the cur­rent lack of sol­i­dar­i­ty seem to have lost their sell­ing. They grab little atten­tion in the public dis­course. The second part of Elena Friedrich’s Public Land series looks at the power dynam­ics of the public realm, which are locat­ed between infor­ma­tion and manip­u­la­tion, con­trol and rep­re­sen­ta­tion. The self-reflec­tive doc­u­men­tary blends audio-record­ings of dis­cus­sions from Athens and Madrid with a fic­tion­al nar­ra­tive of a man trans­port­ing boxes of oranges to the sea­side, always with the ques­tion in mind of how, in the “soci­ety of the spec­ta­cle,” alter­na­tive nar­ra­tives can be cre­at­ed and kept alive.

Violence is to charge 600 Euros - Public Land I

Wake up! is the recur­rent tag on walls in Athens, Istan­bul and Madrid. As a sign, it traces the polit­i­cal strug­gles between 2011 and 2015. The film is an essay­is­tic col­lage that maps respons­es to the polit­i­cal events that led, among other things, to rent rising to 600 Euros in urban spaces. Protest tags in cap­i­tal let­ters on major mon­u­ments are com­pared and con­trast­ed in regard to form and con­tent. The mon­tage of images of the urban space filled with let­ters and signs sprayed on build­ings blends with the narrator’s voice to create a reflec­tion on and an appeal for public land. Which kind of public sphere, what kind of images, lan­guage, and nar­ra­tions do we use and inhab­it to change the world around us?


Nine women from a Turk­ish vil­lage in the Taurus Moun­tains tell about their lives. About fathers who would have pre­ferred a son and who object to a higher edu­ca­tion for their daugh­ters; about moth­ers who have to juggle work in the fields, house­hold duties and par­ent­ing and whose hus­bands commit adul­tery. The women tell about forced mar­riages and attempts to escape; about unwrit­ten laws that so far no gen­er­a­tion has had power to break. “I wish it was a lie, but it’s all true”, one of the women sums up the sto­ries. In order to break the silence these women get togeth­er and write a piece of drama, “The Wom­en’s Outcry”, based on their life expe­ri­ences. They rehearse under the con­duct of the local school direc­tor and work long nights under the curi­ous gazes of the vil­lage men. In the course of the rehearsals the women devel­op a grow­ing charis­ma and self-con­fi­dence. Nev­er­the­less, there are dis­putes and the pre­miere in the vil­lage seems doomed to fail. In a per­cep­tive and unob­tru­sive way, Istan­bul-born direc­tor Pelin Esmer (*1972) accom­pa­nies the troup of ama­teur actress­es on their path to the play’s pre­miere in the village. 


Zeki Müren Hot­line – Zeki Müren Hatti

The Turk­ish vari­ety artist Zeki Müren was a nation­al phe­nom­e­non. Born in 1931, he began his career as a respectable singer on the radio, before shift­ing direc­tion and becom­ing a flam­boy­ant night­club idol. He would dress effem­i­nate­ly, with lots of makeup and jew­el­ry, and while he was never explic­it about it, his homo­sex­u­al­i­ty was a public secret. A tal­ent­ed singer, he attract­ed a broad audi­ence and became a symbol for Turk­ish unity. After his sudden death in 1996 – a heart attack during a TV appear­ance – he received a state funer­al. Just how deeply Müren affect­ed the lives of dif­fer­ent people becomes clear with this inter­ac­tive tele­phone hot­line. Over 800 people have called in to leave a mes­sage for the deceased singer. (idfa)

Explore a selec­tion of those calls in the phone booth in front of the cinema.


In Istan­bul 2014, the young nurse Asli becomes a polit­i­cal oppo­nent by chance when she spon­ta­neous­ly hides a pro­tes­tor from a police crack­down during a polit­i­cal protest out­side the hos­pi­tal. She helps him to leave the hos­pi­tal unseen with­out con­sid­er­ing the con­se­quences her sol­i­dar­i­ty might have on her calm and peace­ful family life in one of Istanbul’s wealth­i­er dis­tricts. When the police invade her pri­vate life, Asli faces the threat of a polit­i­cal system as well as the limits of her husband’s sol­i­dar­i­ty. SADAKAT is a fic­tion­al story about the still cur­rent ques­tion of per­son­al and public respon­si­bil­i­ty and the limits of polit­i­cal resistance.

Once Upon a Time

While its title leads us to expect a tall tale, Once Upon a Time imme­di­ate­ly foils that expec­ta­tion. In obser­va­tion­al cinema mode, we follow a large family of Turk­ish Kurds on a long trek to Ankara, where back­break­ing toil in the let­tuce fields awaits. With rare energy and spon­tane­ity, the film­mak­er shows us the hor­ri­ble exploita­tion of Kur­dish sea­son­al work­ers, as well as the good nature and strength of the film’s colour­ful pro­tag­o­nists. There is a rad­i­cal shift in tone when the film­mak­er seizes the oppor­tu­ni­ty pre­sent­ed by blos­som­ing love between a Kur­dish Romeo and Juliet, immers­ing us in a riv­et­ing story – part tender, part cruel. A fable that causes shiv­ers and a suc­cess­ful mar­riage of soci­o­log­i­cal obser­va­tion and seri­ous nar­ra­tive ambi­tions. (RIDM, Montréal)


In cooperation with FAIRburg e.V. and Türk HOG e.V.