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 ... See full summary »
AIDS doctor Antonia's husband is killed by a car. She gets depressed until she learns he had been cheating on her with a man. Following her newly born curiosity for life, she goes to see ... See full summary »
As the Ottoman Empire comes to an end, an old servant spins a tale to keep the women in the Sultan's harem distracted. The story is about Safiye, who first becomes the Sultan's favorite ... See full summary »
Overburdened and stuck in a greying marriage, Giovanna takes to caring for the Jewish Holocaust survivor her husband brings home. As she begins to reflect on her life, she turns to the man who lives across from her ...
Long-time friends: Davide, a successful novelist, lives with Lorenzo, who's everyone's favorite; Antonio and Angelique, married with two children; Neval, a voluble Turk, and her compliant ... See full summary »
Elena (Kasia Smutniak) and Antonio (Francesco Arca) seem not to be made for each other. They are too different in terms of character, life choices, worldview, and the way they relate to ... See full summary »
Mahsun is homeless and unemployed. He lives in Rumelihisari (one of the most picturesque and oldest quarters of Istanbul), and tries to stay alive with the help of local fishermen. Mahsun ... See full summary »
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
This film is really a very subtle, literate story. Nothing hits you over the head, there's nothing to win or lose at the end, it's just characters and events unfolding and interacting within a languid pace. It's really a beautiful film, both in scenery, sentiment and depth of feeling.
If you've ever visited Istanbul you should see this film. I expected to see the Hagia Sophia and Blue Mosque right off, but you never see them-- the film chooses to see Istanbul through the charming back alleys and everyday people. The traditions of the country and the warmth of the people are ever-present in this film. Istanbul itself is like a character here, and its special charms are at the center of the story. If you have visited there, you will understand why the characters become so captivated.
But this film only uses Istanbul and the Hamam as a vehicle for showing its characters ways of finding happiness and tranquility in one's life. The story is much more general and eternal. It shares that quality with literature-- it is at once about these specific characters, and also about everyone, everywhere.
Here in New York this film is called "Steam" and is being sold as a major homoerotic experience. It's sad that they have to cheapen this wonderful movie in that way, and people going expecting to get their jollies will be woefully disappointed-- and entirely missing the point.
One tends to think of Turkish/Italian cinema as not being as technically sophisticated, but this film is vary carefully and intelligently written and directed. This really is one of those special, beautiful movies, not as flashy or intense as some, but I think I will remember this film for a long time.
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