62 user 70 critic

Distant (2002)

Uzak (original title)
Not Rated | | Drama | 20 December 2002 (Turkey)
After his wife leaves him, a photographer has an existential crisis and tries to cope with his cousin's visit.



(scenario), (additional writing)

On Disc

at Amazon

31 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Three Monkeys (2008)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A family suffers from a major communication breakdown during their struggle to get through their hardships.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Yavuz Bingol, Hatice Aslan, Ahmet Rifat Sungar
Climates (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dowdy university instructor Isa is an inattentive husband to his younger, TV-business wife Bahar. Self-absorbed and selfish, Isa only communicates in the most rudimentary way, while she, similarly, detaches into crying jags and juvenile behavior.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Nazan Kesal
Clouds of May (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is a movie within movie, which is almost recursive, i.e., the movie inside looks like director Ceylan's previous movie, Kasaba. It is about the movie director, Muzaffer, going back to ... See full summary »

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Emin Ceylan, Muzaffer Özdemir, Fatma Ceylan
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel
The Town (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of a family living in a small godforsaken town in Turkey seen through the eyes of children and dealing with the growing complexity when one becomes an adult.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Emin Toprak, Havva Saglam, Cihat Bütün
Winter Sleep (2014)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce.... See full summary »

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbag
Cocoon (1995)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's first Movie. Dram.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Emin Ceylan, Fatma Ceylan, Turgut Toprak
Innocence (1997)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Yusuf is released from prison after serving a ten-year sentence. He is scared of life outside as he goes to an address given to him by another prisoner.

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Güven Kiraç, Haluk Bilginer, Derya Alabora
Destiny (2006)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Bekir is in love with Ugur, who loves Zagor who loves to commit crimes.

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Vildan Atasever, Ufuk Bayraktar, Engin Akyürek
Inside (2012)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man's life, thoughts, feelings and his very own darkness... Adapted from Dostoevsky's novel "Notes from Undergroud", Demirkubuz follows Muharrem as he gets himself invited to a party ... See full summary »

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Engin Günaydin, Serhat Tutumluer, Nihal Yalcin
Fate (2001)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Musa, who works as a bookkeeper in the customs office, believes in the emptiness and absurdity of life. He doesn't struggle to change his life; he lets himself flow along with events ... See full summary »

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Serdar Orçin, Zeynep Tokus, Engin Günaydin
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

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 »

Director: Dervis Zaim
Stars: Ahmet Ugurlu, Tuncel Kurtiz, Aysen Aydemir


Cast overview, first billed only:
Muzaffer Özdemir ...
Emin Toprak ...
Yusuf (as Mehmet Emin Toprak)
Zuhal Gencer ...
Nazan (as Zuhal Gencer Erkaya)
Nazan Kesal ...
Lover (as Nazan Kirilmis)
Feridun Koc ...
Janitor (as Feridun Koç)
Fatma Ceylan ...
Ebru Ceylan ...
(as Ebru Yapici)
Bahaltin Surler ...
(as Bahattin Serter)
Nazli Aydin
Engin Hepsev
Ercan Kesal
Asli Orhun
Ahmet Bugay
Arif Asçi
Cemal Gülas


Mahmut, a 40 year old independent photographer, is a "village boy made good" at least professionally in the big city - Istanbul in this case. After his wife leaves him, he falls into an existential crisis. Then comes his cousin Yusuf, who left his native village after a local factory closed down, effectively unemploying over half the local men. He looks to Istanbul for salvation: a job on board a ship sailing abroad, at once exciting and crucial to supporting his family in the desperately poor village. The distance between the two men is apparent at once, and becomes increasingly pronounced. Whereas Mahmut is adusted to big city life and suffers from many of its neuroses, Yusuf is a lonely, excentric country worker with annoying nervous and hygienic habits, and a sick mother back home he must somehow support. This intimate drama was filmed in the director's apartment in Istanbul, using all his furniture, appliances, rooms, car and so on as the film's props. The actor playing Yusuf is ... Written by Gonz30

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis




Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

20 December 2002 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Distante  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$11,280 (USA) (12 March 2004)


$96,293 (USA) (28 January 2005)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider. See more »


Follows The Town (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

The loneliness of long-distance runners from relationships…
2 June 2007 | by (Brisbane, Australia) – See all my reviews

This is a film about loneliness and how the distance – physical and emotional -- between people tends to stultify relationships.

The narrative is simple to the point of banality: a young man Yusuf (Emin Toprak), from a rural village, arrives in Istanbul to stay with his older and successful cousin Mahmut (Muzaffer Ozdemir); Yusuf wants work in the big city. After trying for a few weeks to find work without any success, the strain of having Yusuf living with him is too much for Mahmut. They quarrel – nothing physical, just verbal. Eventually, Yusuf goes, leaving Mahmut alone again. End of story...

Except for the fact that the performance of the two men as relatives is one of the best on film. Much is said visually; dialog is used to bring out disagreement, distrust, hostility, and insecurity that exist within and between the two men.

There are many visual gems in this film. For example, while searching for work, young Yusuf, needing a relationship, tries in vain to gain the attention of various young women around the city. The look on his face, as he is thwarted every time, says it all.

Or, wanting a cigarette, Yusuf opens the door to the balcony of Mahmut's apartment and lights up in the frigid December air, leaving the door open; Mahmut, eventually gets up from his work desk, walks to the door (all glass) and the cousins just look at each other for what seems way too long a time. Then Mahmut closes the door, leaving Yusuf out in the cold. The metaphor is complete.

Or, Mahmut cleaning up after Yusuf, grudgingly and with increasing anger; and all the while, Yusuf wastes his time chasing skirts instead of looking seriously for work, and spends Mahmut's money on a toy for a nephew… Yusuf is emotional, untidy, impulsive, and vulnerable. Mahmut is rational, logical, self-confident and a demanding control freak: the right-brain, left-brain dichotomy beautifully played out by two actors who say more with a look, a gesture, a frown than any words can convey.

But, Mahmut is not completely emotionless: he still loves his ex-wife who tells him that she's off to Canada with her husband-to-be. Mahmut affects a distant and confident friendship with his ex, and makes sure that she is okay about going. He wishes her well. He says goodbye. He leaves the coffee shop where they were talking. Later when she calls to say a last goodbye, on the way to the airport, Mahmut goes there and secretly watches as she leaves. The poignancy of the emotion on his face, as she disappears through a door, is worth the wait.

All in all, this is a standout piece of work by the two main actors and the director, Nuri Ceylan. Some might argue that the pace is too slow; but life goes slowly for much of the time, especially for those who are alone. The camera work is relatively simple also: choose the scene, set up the camera and lighting, and let the actors move across the scene, enter the scene and leave the scene, all the while keeping the camera still. There were a few panning shots, some high-angle tracking shots, a few rural scenes – but much of the film is shown as though on a stage with a fixed camera and a wide angle lens. Except for TV and radio music within the story, there is no music sound track. And, there are those many long silences as the two men sit and watch TV together and/or engage in very limited conversation.

I saw this movie on TV so I was amused to see that, on a few occasions, I was watching TV as they were watching TV also. The silence in the movie matched the silence in my house (I was awake, all others in bed); my chair and position matched that of Mahmut's as he watched TV. Quite eerie, giving me a sense of almost 'being there' with him… And, I guess I was, in a sense.

I'll say no more, because I want you to savor the other scenes that I haven't described. It's not a movie for everybody, for sure. More than any movie I've seen, it shows just how much we die when we are all alone – just as we are all alone when we die. Mahmut's face, as it fades to black in the final scene, will stay with me for a long, long time...

Highly recommended for serious movie buffs.

19 of 20 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Recommendations for fans of Uzak and Ceylans films??? arkid77
What an excellent film zoelat
To the Director ay9a
Worth rewatching? Skritek-mk
Discuss Distant (2002) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: