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Social Criticism Combined with a Reflection on Human Identities
FILLER VE ÇİMEN returns to a theme already explored in TABUTTA RÖVAŞATA
the nature of corruption and its effect on ordinary people.
Superficially it can be seen as a political satire, with the Minister (Bülent Kayabaş) being heavily involved in drug- trafficking and other nefarious activities, while publicly proclaiming his commitment to the public good. He becomes involved with various gang leaders including Sabit (Haluk Bilginer), and Camoka (Ali Sürmeli), as well as an intelligence chief (Ezel Akay). Inevitably such dealings come to no good, with the Minister meeting a bloody end.
Zaim shows how the media deliberately misrepresents the Minister's dealings so as to put a positive spin on them, and by doing so leaves the majority of the people in the dark as to what really happens in the halls of government. Although released at the beginning of the century, the film's political content remains as significant today: even though the government has changed, the level of institutional corruption, and its deliberate suppression by the media, remains extremely high.
Yet perhaps the film's main interest centers on Havva (Sanem Çelik), a runner who inadvertently becomes involved in the political shenanigans. She tries to look after her crippled brother by working first in a marbling workshop, and subsequently in an eraser factory. Both jobs are significant - in the first, she deliberately makes patterns in water, without actually polluting it. In other words, she is trying to make her mark on the world without destroying it, rather like the Ottoman craftspeople in the past. The job in the eraser factory represents the obverse; she is involved in creating an object that removes all traces of human action, such as writing.
The ending is one of guarded optimism - in the wake of the corruption, Havva returns to her marbling job, suggesting a willingness to contribute to the world in a positive way. Zaim's camera tracks upwards to show the sight of dark spots on a snow- covered landscape, thereby associating Havva's marbling with the workings of the universe. Despite all attempts to suppress her (including being branded a terrorist, even though was never involved in such things), her spirit remains unquenched.
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