A feudal village in Southeastern Turkey in 1970's. A poor peasant, Feyzo returns from military service dreaming about getting married to Gülo, the love of his life. However, he has to face ... See full summary »
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A feudal village in Southeastern Turkey in 1970's. A poor peasant, Feyzo returns from military service dreaming about getting married to Gülo, the love of his life. However, he has to face many obstacles. According to tradition, a man has to pay a lot of money to the bride's father in order to get the bride's hand. While Feyzo is trying to deal with the greed of Gulo's father who is asking for an astronomical amount of money, he has to also convince his mother, who wants to buy an ox instead of a bride. Feyzo overcomes all these difficulties, but he gets kicked out of the village on his wedding day by the landlord, Maho Aga, who is eager to protect his status against any threat. However, Feyzo goes to the big city on exile only to bring back more problems for Maho. Written by
[Catches Feyzo while writing grafitti]
What are you writing on the wall, you idiot?
[Fasho:Turkish slang for fascist]
What does Fasho mean?
[After thinking for a while]
Something like pimp... like fagot..
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One of the most comprehensive satirical comedies from Turkish cinema
"Kibar Feyzo" is one of the most prominent films in Turkish film history. It's a satirical comedy narrating the story of a peasant whose village is in the southeastern region of Turkey where feudalism is still partly intact in rural areas. From this perspective, I feel the need to give a little background information for whom has limited or no information about what Turkey's condition were in 70's.
Feudalism, or "agha" (landowner) system has a long history on the land of Turkey. After Turkey became a republic, there had been attempts to constitute a "land reform", but always met obstructions. Still, to this day, there are many many villages which feudalism still applies, especially in eastern and southeastern region of Turkey. There are still "aghas", tribe leaders and so on. Some landlords are (and have been) even parliament members, they have a considerable weight in politics. So I imagine it was not very easy to broadcast a film like this. But this film is not only about the suffering of peasants, but also about "peasants" of city, laboring class, the bottom of the pyramid. When Feyzo works in the city, he finds out how a huge advantage being syndicated is. He gradually learns that when there is repression, being organized is essential for the struggle.
"Letting daughter marry someone if money is paid" practice is still being applied in some regions. I believe director wanted to provoke a reaction against this. Women rights issue is still a problem which Turkey is facing. Also the film directs criticism against materialism.
After the military coup d'etat in 1960, a new constitution had been put into action. This constitution was a more libertarian, humane one compared to its predecessor (and also successor). But there was a cold war going on and Turkey's scene was involving a lot of rightist-leftist conflict. This conflicts started to be called as "anarchy" - and the term "anarchist" was used especially for leftist organizations and individuals. A lot of blood was shed, so many died. In 1970 and later on, new laws were passed and some liberties was restricted, especially the ones regarding unions, rallying, protesting and freedom of speech. In the film, the writings on the walls signifies a reaction. In the scene when "Maho agha" is shouting at the peasants angrily as he complains for ingratitude, he says: "Here you're, 141 or 142 heads, and I'm feeding you all." 141 and 142 are numbers of two notorious, well-known laws aimed at leftist ideas which was restricting activities and propaganda regarding classes and class based ideas (removed from effect a about decade later). There are many other references regarding conflicts and problems of Turkey.
There were (and still are) also many structural difficulties (financial, cultural, you name it) which would be hard to write down at full length. In an environment like this, I believe anyone would consider this movie a brave, daring and tempting attempt. Turkish cinema had produced satirical comedies before and produced more later on, but this film is representing its own merits and it stands on the edge of a new era. It's worth mentioning that in 1980 there was another military coup d'etat and another constitution was instructed, which was in harmony with neoliberalism and conservativism.
I may look like I'm exaggerating this socio-political aspect of the film, but this aspects are combined with strong elements of satire and comedy, and this is what makes this film special. It also has very funny moments which have been cult jokes in everyday life. They may seem a little funnier to Turkish audience, because understanding the sense humour of another culture may be a little difficult. But this film has really affected Turkish culture, alongside being a part of that.
The characters in film are not very deep, since the focus is not directly on them. But some of the characters are deliberately selected to represent figures in real life. These figures include religious ones, politicians, bureaucrats, business men and so on. Every actor/actress on the cast list did very well. Dubbing sometimes becomes irritating, though. Why editing was poor in those days, I don't know. Probably because of financial and technical difficulties.
In summary, this film is a satirical comedy mainly about the exploitation, repression and suffering of lower class. The film focuses on problems peculiar to Turkey, in a sense. So it may require the viewer to be a somewhat familiar with the problems of Turkey in order to appreciate (which I tried to shortly explain some of them above). So, even if you're not from Turkey, I recommend this film if you wouldn't mind exploring another culture and its set of problems.
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