|Index||4 reviews in total|
What do two young kids do with their baby sister who cant stop crying ?
What does food mean when the streets are hungry for blood ? What does
it mean to change a point of view towards a better solution ?
Most of the answers and more are delicately yet firmly placed in Min DIt. Director, Producer and Writer Miraz Bezar has placed this responsibility of his message on the strong shoulders of his main leads - Senay Orak ( Gulistan ) & Muhammed Al ( Firat ). Both who deliver fiercely with soft eyes and strong character. A gritty, absorbing movie with a theme that's new to me ( the whole Kurdish/Turkish situation was briefly explained post viewing ) and all the actors performed par excellence. Simple, seamless story developments with brilliant screenplay, Min DIt tops my list at the Dubai International Film Festival.
Watching it at the DIFF 2009, the Q&A did get into a slightly political voice throwing atmosphere but was handled extremely well by the Director whom i must commend for his ability to understand both sides and choose to deal with Humanity as the subject of his movie and not who is right or wrong in the war.
Killing/Murder/Executions of fellow beings is just something we humans now close our eyes and accept. Things may change. Maybe we'll be just be more open to nonviolent solutions.
Thank you Miraz Bezar and whole crew of Min DIt for a lovely journey.
An admirable film, both in intent and execution, but one which somehow
never had the devastating impact it's tragic story would seem to
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.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Min Dit (literally 'I Saw) claims to be the most controversial movie which travels into the uncharted territories of the booming Turkish film industry which has turned out to be multi-faceted, complex, and highly innovative over the last decade. Some of the recent Turkish movie makers are regarded as brave cineastes, who don't dodge politically or socially sensitive subjects. For that matter, Miraz Bezar seems to have won the hearts of some critics already, with his directorial debut hailed by some as the most controversial movie of the Turkish cinema. However, does Mind Dit actually live up to the hype? That's the question. We know that a lot of mainstream critics have been delivering eulogies for the movie. The very fact makes the impression that the movie may have been heavily hyped up given the fact the total viewers that the movie attracted at the box office was a bit more than 24.000. But you know what they say: 'You must judge each film on its own merits, without any preconceived notions about what it's like ' Regardless of the box office failure and the adulation of critics I decided to see this movie German-based Kurdish filmmaker Miraz Bezar holds to a notion that he can shed some light on the immediate history of Turkey through the eyes of kids. Ten-year-old Gülistan (Senay Orak) and her brother, Fırat (Muhammed Al) lead the story. (Two non-professional child actors were casted by the director after he had met them on a bus trip to the East of Turkey.) When their politically active parents were killed by paramilitary forces and their aunt is gone missing soon after that, the two siblings were forced to take care their each other and their baby sister. The problem with Bezar's story starts here actually. Just like the previous examples, he preserves the old notion of 'evil Turk', especially in the representation of Turkish security officers in the region. The gendarmerie officer Bezar creates is not only reflected as a murderer but he is also an adulterer. His examination of family life of a Turkish officer (hey look he doesn't just kill Kurds but he also shags Kurds) displays a silent undertow of racism. By showcasing a group of juvenile Kurdish delinquents, Bezar seems to tell you that these kids had no choice to be a part of prostitution, organized larceny and violence. The movie shows their father as a simple journalist who tries to make his living. This has never been the case within the region. They have always been highly politicized families. You can ask any public officer (teachers, doctors, engineers) about their experiences in the region. Just a 7 year old kid starting the primary school asks you which party you've just voted. This sounds like a shock to you because you would never expect a kid to be so involved in politics. Another wrong impression the movie gives is that it sounds like those people would be so much better off without the security personnel there. The camera focuses on choppers of the Turkish army and to a foreign eye; the movie makes a haphazard or even an ignorant analogy with Afghanistan, Iraq or Palestine. Some foreigners would even assume Turkey is the invader in the region. Do you know what happens when Turkish soldiers do not happen to be at the right place at the right time? You can Google 'blood feuds in the Southeast of Turkey' and you can learn how every year in "blood for blood" vendettas pass from Kurdish generations over land disputes, grazing rights or matters of family honor. It's such a common thing a Kurdish family kill off another Kurdish family over a petty grazing field that violence doesn't make the news anymore.You want another example? In the last earthquake that Turkey experienced in Van (a city close to the border) tens of relief trucks have been plundered. They carried away tents and clothing desperately needed elsewhere and sold in the black market. When the reporter of CNNTURK (Turkish branch of CNN) asked the mayor about the plundering which the news channel was giving a live coverage of, you know what Mr. Mayor said? He said "We don't seem to have enough security here " I believe sensible Kurds saw the better picture of events when the supposedly pro-Kurdish terrorist organization manipulated the confusion of the earthquake to wage fresh attacks against security forces, rather than to help their own kind in such dire need. At another scene in the movie you see Fırat, a boy who is having problems with his math homework. The guest of the house, who is being hidden from the police, helps the kid "Do you have problems with Turkish?" and translates the simple problem into Kurdish. What do you understand from this scene? A foreigner would assume Kurds can't study because the medium of education is in Turkish. Somebody should ask the director whether he was taught in Turkish in Germany? Surely he must have had some education in German, right? If you want to have a patina of racial fairness and balance about your movie you need more than a kid who can't just divide 360 with 3. Every year thousands of Kurdish students walk into medical schools, law school etc in this country. If you want to say age old Turkish only and anti-bilingual education movements share restrictionist elements you need more than victimization of a race. If this ethnic conflict were as simple as Bezar reflected, it would not end on one of these days. Lots of democratic reforms have been made over the last 10-15 years. Prime Minister Erdogan's latest statement that Kurdish might be taught in school as a selective course won't end violence. As long as some Kurdish people ask for a separate country ( as the kids around the bonfire sing for it in the movie) no democratic reforms will be enough. If that were so, Turkey wouldn't be losing more soldiers than ever now.
It's simple for me. Gross injustice and hypocrisy out in the world
strike me as lamentable baggage of how undeveloped we are. In terms of
cinema, I can muster no passion for simply dependable craft hitched on
a social cause, the possibility of different ways to perceive ourselves
and the myriad forms of suffering is too vast and open-ended a project.
So, I'm only being honest here, this is a solid film, that troubles and sheds light on marginalized lives, that affects in a modest way, but I can feel only a distanced solemnity. It can only be for me a sad reminder of how far back stretches the rear guard of civilization and how unlucky for some people, Dyarbakir in the film, further east these days it's Tikrit and Pakistan. Can we do something beyond a troubled viewing from the comfort of our homes? Is viewing enough?
The ending is a poignant call about this: instead of taking up the same gun in turn against a murderer, let his neighbors and people on the street know, circulate the narrative that unmasks. That's the value it has. But is the film going to be shown to the neighbors?
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