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Berat Efe Parlar,
Zephyr, a strong-willed adolescent girl, spends her summer vacation with her grandparents in the mountains, waiting for her mother to come and take her back home. Her mother finally shows up, but only to say farewell before going far away places for a voluntary position. But Zephyr is determined that she will not let her mother ever leave her again. Written by
An overblown and under-written coming-of-age story in an unrealistically idealised rural setting.
Debutante Turkish feature director Belma Baş ("Poyraz") follows the success of her Palme d'Or nominated short with this thematic sequel covering much the same ground, which was selected for the 47th Antalya "Golden Orange" International Film Festival and the 35th Toronto International Film Festival, where it premiered.
Zefir (Şeyma Uzunlar) is a head strong young girl spending the summer burying road kill and staring wistfully into the distance with her grandparents on the yayla in Turkey's Eastern Black Sea mountain region while yearning for the return of her mother (Vahide Gördüm) in the slow-building set up to this incisive yet somewhat underwritten coming-of-age scenario.
The young Şeyma Uzunlar ("Poyraz") reprises her role for the director with a powerfully nuanced performance which is superbly supported by Vahide Gördüm ("Cars of the Revolution" & "Istanbul Tales") at the head of a supporting cast which includes Sevinç and O. Rüştü Baş as well as a voice-only cameo form comedian and film-backer Cem Yılmaz.
The freshman director follows in a recent trend of Turkish filmmakers with an apparent longing for the idyllic Turkish countryside which translates into long-languid shots of perfectly framed scenery (on this occasion all-too-often shrouded in fog) and close-ups of snails (or other suitably slow moving flora and fauna) which build atmosphere around minimalistic story lines.
Here this is done well and the viewer is quickly drawn into to this unrealistically idealised vision of rural life which proves a curiously disconcerting backdrop to the teenage angst of a young girl abandoned by her mother but with nothing new to add to this well-worn mix the overblown short begins to drag and ultimately one can only hope for more from the director in the future.
"Let's consider this a good omen, shall we?"
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