By: Udita Singh (Communicating Reality Intern, CCS)


Yesilcam, yes that is what they call Turkey’s film industry. The word “industry” is slightly misleading though, for Turkish films microscopically look at life in nuanced ways rather than mass produce movies.

Themes in contemporary Turkish Cinema look minutely at universal dichotomies like immigrant-native, rural-urban, male-female, elite-common. The microscopic vision means that films are often as much about individuals and relationships as about history and society. And it is this universality brought about by the central role of individuals which often makes them the panel’s favorite pick at international film festivals.

The stark contrast between Bollywood and Yesilcam reminds one of Wim Wender – German film director, he once said “Entertainment today constantly emphasises the message that things are wonderful the way they are. But there is another kind of cinema, which says that change is possible and necessary and it’s up to you.” Films in India continue to live on song-dance sequences, extravagant action and melodrama. Bollywood too has seen some change though. Film makers like Anurag Kashyap and Kiran Rao have taken the plunge into the ‘other kind of cinema’. Dhobhi Ghat, for instance, came close to Contemporary Turkish cinema with its real locales.

As for a must watch:  Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (original title: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da). Enjoy.

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The opinions expressed in this essay are those of the authors. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of CCS.