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Lifelong (2013)

Hayatboyu (original title)
Ela and Can seemingly have it all. Yet in this affluent section of Istanbul, love turns to suspicion, success delivers only material comfort and truth keeps playing hide-and-seek.


Asli Özge


Asli Özge
4 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Defne Halman ... Ela
Hakan Çimenser Hakan Çimenser ... Can
Gizem Akman Gizem Akman ... Nil
Onur Dikmen Onur Dikmen ... Tan
Süreyya Güzel Süreyya Güzel ... Ahu
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Orhan Bozkaya Orhan Bozkaya ... Emlakci (Real Estate)
Cuneyt Cebenoyan Cuneyt Cebenoyan ... Ali
Zeynep Dinsel Zeynep Dinsel ... Deniz
Ahmet Gündogdu Ahmet Gündogdu ... Eczaci (Pharmacist)
Ali Ertan Güney Ali Ertan Güney ... Father
Sibel Günsür Sibel Günsür ... Babaanne (Grandma)
Gulin Iyigun Gulin Iyigun ... Zeynep
Ayse Köroglu Ayse Köroglu ... Nez
Leyla Okan Leyla Okan ... Hala (Aunt)
Haktan Pak Haktan Pak ... Efe


Ela and Can seemingly have it all. Yet in this affluent section of Istanbul, love turns to suspicion, success delivers only material comfort and truth keeps playing hide-and-seek.

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User Reviews

Another Slice of Contemporary Angst in İstanbul
29 October 2015 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Ela (Defne Halman) lives a prosperous life in middle-class İstanbul. A conceptual artist by profession, she has an apparently solicitous partner Can (Hakan Çimenser), while her daughter Nil (Gizem Akman) studies industrial design in Ankara.

But all is not well with her life. Cooped up in a split-level house and unable to adjust to the rhythms of modern life - her inability to manage electrical gadgets is palpable - Ela suffers a crisis of confidence. In one sequence she strips naked in front of the mirror, her shoulders slumped, her face expressionless, as if unable to fathom what to do next.

Yet perhaps her disillusion is not entirely self-induced. Can turns out not to be quite the ideal partner she had hoped, while Nil expresses a wish to leave her university course and take archeology instead, in rebellion against her parents' wishes. Add to that the fact that no one wants to buy Ela's conceptual art, which makes her doubt whether what she is pursuing is of any value or not.

Stylistically speaking, Aslı Özge's film has been inspired by Nuri Bilge Ceylan's work in its use of long takes, often devoid of dialogue, in which visual imagery assumes more significance. The number of prison metaphors is quite startling - bars across windows, gates, and the like; while Ela's house, with its wrought-iron staircases that make a dull clang whenever anyone climbs up and down them, reinforces the prison-like atmosphere. Another recurring image - an aerial view of the staircase - shows human beings quite literally being swallowed up by the architecture.

Özge is also very good at depicting the ways in which individuals find it impossible to communicate meaningfully with one another. In at least two memorable sequences, she shows Ela and Can with two of their close friends in a café and a bar; they are ranged across the frame in line, their faces turned towards the camera, suggesting a desire to talk at one another rather than with one another.

Yet despite the slight derivativeness in style, HAYATBOYU has an integrity of its own. It focuses on the dilemma faced by many middle-aged bourgeois women, of whether to sustain the family unit at the risk of perpetual unhappiness, or to branch out on their own into a life devoid of certainty. The ending remains inconclusive, referring once again to Ela's issues with electrical gadgets.

The film has certain longueurs, when it seems as if nothing much happens, but this is deliberate - a means by which Özge can communicate the sterility of her protagonist's existence.

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Release Date:

15 November 2013 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

Lifelong See more »

Filming Locations:

Istanbul, Turkey See more »


Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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