ARAF is the story of Zehra and Olgun whose lives are caught in a vacuum! The world in which they live and work is a place of throwaway culture and constant change. They too are waiting for ... See full summary »
In a city full of unemployment, people, their troubles and lives, are they as mundane, haphazard and tiny as myriadly dispersed particles? What about Zeynep, clinged onto life with her ... See full summary »
A man and a woman seeking refuge from the world: Nihat at a remote forest fire tower, Seher in her room at a rural bus station. When their lives collide, each now has to fight their battle of conscience before the other.
Mertkan has a simple life in Istanbul: 'working' as an office-boy in his dad's construction company, hanging out with his male friends in malls and discos, cruising with his dad's 4-wheel ... See full summary »
Nihal G. Koldas
A small, poor village leaning over high rocky mountains, facing the immense sea, flanked by olive yards. Villagers are simple and diligent people who struggle to cope with a harsh nature. ... See full summary »
Celal, lives an unhappy family life with his wife Sevilay and his child in a small town. Celal and his brother Cemal, running an electrician shop which doesn't go well. They are in debt. ... See full summary »
With summer on its way, the mountain people leave their village with their herds. They pass through winding paths and valleys, and cross deep ravines, on their way to their summer quarters.... See full summary »
ARAF is the story of Zehra and Olgun whose lives are caught in a vacuum! The world in which they live and work is a place of throwaway culture and constant change. They too are waiting for a chance to change and escape from their empty, monotonous lives. Written by
Ultimately Disappointing Analysis of Emptiness of People's Lives
Set in the small town of Karabuk, midway between Istanbul and Ankara, ARAF (Limbo) explores the empty lives of two young people, both of whom work in a roadside restaurant. Olgun (Baris Hacihan) has a drunken father and a mother who becomes so frustrated that she eventually abandons the family; he loves Zehra (Neslihan Atagul) but cannot find words to express his feelings. The teenage Zehra is looking for a way out of her monotonous life; she believes she has found it when she has an affair with trucker Mahur (Ozcan Deniz), but this soon fizzles out, leaving her pregnant and alone. Too scared to tell her family about what has happened, she has the stillborn baby in the bathroom at the local clinic. Once Olgun finds out about what has happened to Zehra, he embarks on an orgy of violence that lands him in jail. Yesim Ustaoglu's film is similar in terms of subject-matter to Pelin Esmer's recent GOZETLEME KULESI (The Watchtower); both explore the lives of young women growing up in rural societies, with little prospect for their futures other than marriage. Too frightened to confess their real feelings in front of their (traditional) families, they are left isolated and doomed to suffer. Rather disappointingly, however, Ustaoglu does not explore her characters in any great depth; while she incorporates several lingering close-ups of Zehra and Olgun in profile, she does not tell us much about their relationship to those closest to them. While understanding the frequent silences - as the characters cannot find words to communicate with one another - the narrative tends to sag in places. At just over two hours, ARAF is perhaps half an hour too long; the story would have been equally effective if it had been recounted more concisely.
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