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In the years of pulse, Turkey was unable to produce its own cars. But Pasha believed that Turkish people can produce their own cars so he ordered 2 cars. Gunduz and engineers with him must produce 2 cars in only 130 days!
During the Sarikamis Battle, the Ottoman army runs out of ammunition and appeals to the people of Van for help, who happen to have supplies. However, the First World War is on and all men are fighting at four corners of the empire and therefore can not respond to to the appeal. The young children of Van want to do something. When the Principal of a school, who has lost a son in the war, suggests that the ammunition be transported to Sarikamis, 120 young boys aged 12 to 17 volunteer and take to the road. The movie tells the true story of the 120 boys and their sisters and mothers left behind, who wait for their return. The movie opens with a scene where and Armenian doctor goes to the house of a Turk whose son is sick, as he has done many times before. One of the boys does not like an Armenian doctor providing medical service to Turks, who, he believes are out to destroy the Turks. At the same time, the Armenian members of the Hunchaks in Van, who gather at a church and vow to join the... Written by
While surfing on the internet about this movie, I read and was pleasantly impressed by the great heroic story this is, and without any hesitation dressed myself to immediately go to see the movie.
This is a true story around WW I during 1914, when the Turkish (Ottoman) army runs out of ammunition and the village of Van decide to send their 120 young boys, aged 12 to 17 years, carry ammunition to the border. On their way to the border they are attacked, and on the way back, they face the snow hail and bitter cold that results in the death of 98 of them.
The cinematography is superb, spell binding and enthrallingly spectacular. The music is also good. The fineness in quality of movie making is of top international standards. Ozge Ozberk as Munire and Cansel Elcin as Suleyman are good. Burak Sergen as Sermet is excellent.
There are a few points in the movie that do not help to make the movie reach its potential. They are the narration is slow, and by incidents of action or killing or death, look too deliberate, rather than merging in the flow and remaining stubtle. The biggest flaw is the casting all the main characters look too refined to fit into the times and village of Van. They stand out of the picture frame as sore thumbs and not merge in the same canvass especially in group shots with the locales rural inhabitants. They look too urbanized and director should have taken care of this small but important aspect. The second flaw is the dubbing of dialogues that is too loud and flat like on stage drama.
But the film is less about 120 boys, and more about the times, the village, the family, the politics, the war and love. The so-director and the writer Ozhan Eren tries to brings about every possible element of interest that can appeal to Turkish cinema and people, and I think that is where the movie does not deliver fully. The elements of showing Turkish flag to evoke patriotism are too obvious and reminds of 60s and 70s movies.
If only the movie had captured the actual heroism of the boys enduring and their relentless emotional saga of survival, it would had been a much satisfying attempt.
Still I hope that this movie remains as one of the teaching lessons for our people to remember and be proud of. This is a very heroic and tragic story and we are so happy that it is told; a piece of pride for Turkish history.
(Stars 5.25 out of 10)
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