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Before Your Eyes (2009)
"Min Dit: The Children of Diyarbakir" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  2 April 2010 (Turkey)
7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 749 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 14 critic

Diyarbakir, in the late nineties: Two young Kurdish children are forced to live on the street after their parents have been murdered by a member of a secret state security force.

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Title: Before Your Eyes (2009)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Senay Orak ...
Gülîstan
Muhammed Al ...
Firat
Hakan Karsak ...
Nuri Kaya
Suzan Ilir ...
Zelal
Berîvan Ayaz ...
Dilan 'Dilara'
Fahriye Çelik ...
Mother
Alisan Önlü ...
Father
Berîvan Eminoglu ...
Aunt Yakbun
Mehmet Inci ...
Mîkaîl
Çekdar Korkusuz ...
Çekdar
Recep Özer ...
Bindest
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Dilan Akdemir ...
Mrs. Songul's daughter
Yavuz Akkuzu ...
Pharmacist
Mukaddes Alatas ...
Dressy Woman
Ihsan Arat ...
Man giving the ticket
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Storyline

Ten-year old Gulistan and her younger brother Firat live happily with their parents in Diyarbakir, the heart of Turkish Kurdistan. Tragedy strikes when their mother and father are shot down by paramilitary gunmen before their eyes. Traumatised and orphaned, Gulistan, Firat and their infant sister are placed in the care of their young, politically-active aunt Yekbun who soon disappears without a trace. As days turn into weeks, the money that their aunt left them runs out. Eventually, the children have to fend for themselves on the streets, where one day, Gulistan is shocked to come across the murderer of her parents. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

2 April 2010 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Before Your Eyes  »

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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User Reviews

 
I wish I could have loved it more
19 April 2014 | by (US) – See all my reviews

An admirable film, both in intent and execution, but one which somehow never had the devastating impact it's tragic story would seem to deserve.

Part of a long line of films showing the incredible hardships kids who are orphaned and left to the streets face (e.g. 'Pixote') in this case there is a powerful political facet as well. A middle- class Kurdish journalist and his wife are gunned down in front of their young children (a boy, a girl and an infant) by Turkish paramilitary troops seemingly bent on silencing political opposition. The children are left to fend for themselves, ending up out on the street before long. They are ignored by most before finally settling in with some other street kids, and a prostitute who treats the young girl with kindness. This leads to a plot twist I won't give away here, but one with considerable punch.

So why wasn't I more blown away by this well-meaning film? I think it's because I felt a sense of slickness and manipulation. The film is shot with a certain reserve. Instead of hand-held camera, or a feeling of verite, there's a distance in the pretty, but almost Hollywood like cinematography. Unlike 'Pixote' or DeSica's best work, I could feel the strings being pulled, and so found my heart resisting. Also, while the 10 year old Senay Orak is truly amazing as the sister, much of the other acting in the film feels stiff and unnatural. I was always aware I was watching a movie, not real life.

I feel awful not loving the film more. It's heart is surely in the right place in bringing a tragic social and political situation to light. I wish it could have moved me to the tears it seemed trying so hard – too hard – to do. None-the-less, it's good enough that I would urge people to see it and judge for themselves.


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