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33 out of 58 people found the following review useful:

You'll have to wait more for a great movie on Atatürk

Author: shutterbug_iconium from Türkiye
23 November 2008

When Goran Bregovic(in Antalya premiere of the movie)told the NTV reporter :" Can did something great. People will get to know this great man better with his weaknesses, with his human side" it did indeed intrigue me so I decided to see the movie in the theater though I don't like going to documentaries. The movie surely arose a furore whether this could be really the "Ataturk" they know or they want to know.If Can Dündar(the director and the writer of the movie) did not have a spotless secular career he may have had to deal with more blunt,braying criticism, even now he had to breast a storm of criticism. Though some like the 'Mustafa' presented by Dündar with his weaknesses,with his love affairs,with his fear of darkness, others thought the movie made him look like a dictator. Even the leading mobile operator Turkcell refrained from being one of the corporate sponsors on the grounds that it did not want to annoy its sensitive subscribers. As for me, I did not like the movie not because it was part of a Western-backed plot to weaken Turkey's Kemalist army and rise "enlightened Islam" in favor of "Kemalist secularism" but because it did not arouse a feeling in me that would make me humanize Ataturk.What I would like to know more about Ataturk's daily life should not be just consisted of the fact that--he smoked three packages of cigarettes every day,he drank raki every day,ha was constantly concerned about being forgotten after his death, he could not deal with the criticism and sent even his companions in arms to the gallows,he was uninformed and ignorant of the situation of his own citizens because of his having been surrounded by sycophants, he had his own sculpture erected etc.." I am not saying that he did not do these things. I am not saying he was a womanizer because there were many women in his life. I am not saying that all those statues, busts and flags have created a better Ataturk full of human quality...still he was a man of substance who re-created a nation out of her ashes though he just sounds like a cold leader in the 'official'context with the way he is bogged down in official school text-books now.Though the movie is a step to break this 'imaginary official construct'-still I did not like the movie...When I watched the movie "Mustafa" I did not feel like I got any human qualities either. There should have been something more of substance that justifies some of his actions. Just a few cold sentences in a voice over was not enough for me. I may not be making sense for some people but let me put it this way; when I watched "Der Untergang" I really felt that Hitler was a human but Mustafa did not stir a feeling...not even close to it...My mind did go at a complete tangent in comparison with the other.Maybe someday we could make a great movie on Ataturk, not by blending his own letters and photographs(only chosen by personal preference)with re-enactments(at some points played by a Greek actor),but by reconstructing his life from a different way of presentation(through the eyes of independence ghazis for instance) After all nobody denies the facts the movie is interwoven around, but the way it is presented outrages most--with the two million euros spent on this flick.

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19 out of 35 people found the following review useful:

It is a simple and honest documentary unlike all the accusations.

7/10
Author: theflautist82 from Turkey
4 February 2009

This documentary was criticized too much that i couldn't stop my self writing a comment here. Initially some people put forward that this documentary insulted Atatürk as especially demonstrating his affairs with women, smoking and drinking alcohol. Some people from the government suggested that the documentary had better be banned to community. Many students and teachers thought that the director shamed and accused him being a deceitful person and he really meant it. some others said that he must have been paid by the Armenians. Anyway, I watched the documentary from the beginning to the end carefully, being afraid of the possibility of coming across some of the accusations above. No, I am saying only no! the documentary is simple and honest. I recommend everybody from every age to watch this documentary carefully. Everybody will understand it must be seem normal to drink alcohol and smoke a cigarette in some circumstances especially after building a Turkish assembly, forming a regular military force, defending against the occupying enemy, improving the economy and creating a profane revolution against some very religious and fanatic people.

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