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Francesco and Marta are husband and wife running a small design company in Rome. When Francesco's long forgotten Aunt Anita dies in Istanbul, he travels there to look after the sale of the hamam (one of a few traditional Turkish baths left) he inherited. There he meets the family running the hamam, gets attracted to a member of it and the whole Turkish atmosphere and decides not to sell the hamam.. Written by
"Hamam" tends to keep one's interest through its presentation rather than its actual content. Nothing much happens of significance, but the director has his characters exchanging furtive glances, knowing expressions, and shoots his scenes in a mysterious manner. The feeling is that something significant is going to happen at any moment; it doesn't really until close to the film's end. Indeed, the director has taken a pretty lame script and made it appear like a minor suspenser. The characters do not say much of anything important, just a lot of small talk and petty attentions. Yet a kind of sensual atmosphere is created by use of the lush color photography and atmospheric Turkish music and scenery. How one enjoys this film will depend on individual tastes. I saw this as part of an international film festival, and simply appreciated an opportunity to sample a Turkish contemporary film, nicely subtitled.
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