6.4/10
758
2 user 10 critic

Memories of the Wind (2015)

Rüzgârin Hatiralari (original title)
Addresses the issues of ethnicity and belonging and conveys how it feels to be across the borders, not only in terms of dislocating out of the borders of a country but also in terms of struggling to exist at the margins of a society.

Director:

Özcan Alper
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4 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Onur Saylak
Sofiya Khandamirova ... (as Sofya Khandemirova)
Mustafa Ugurlu
Ebru Özkan
Tuba Büyüküstün
Murat Daltaban Murat Daltaban
Menderes Samancilar
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Storyline

Addresses the issues of ethnicity and belonging and conveys how it feels to be across the borders, not only in terms of dislocating out of the borders of a country but also in terms of struggling to exist at the margins of a society.

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Plot Keywords:

country | See All (1) »

Genres:

Drama

User Reviews

 
Long-Winded, Confused Historical Drama
14 December 2015 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

For those who enjoyed director Özcan Alper's previous movies, SONBAHAR (2008) or GELECEK UZUN SÜRER (2011), RÜZGARIN HATIRALARI (MEMORIES OF THE WIND) is a major disappointment.

The plot is a straightforward one. In 1943 an Armenian publisher (Onur Saylak) is forced to leave İstanbul as part of a government- initiated scheme to tax ethnic minorities as a prelude to removing them from positions of power and influence. He flees to the Black Sea countryside, where he spends time with a local burgher (Mustafa Uğurlu) and his Russian wife (Sofya Khandemirova). The publisher has an affair with the wife, causing the burgher to ask the publisher to move to a lonely log-cabin in the forest. Eventually the authorities catch up with the publisher with inevitable consequences.

In political terms, Alper's film invites us to consider the impact of the past on the present. He not only refers to the 1943 pogrom, but references the events of 1915, when Armenians were forced out of their homes by their Ottoman rulers and either forced to live as refugees or massacred if they resisted. Through such strategies we are invited to reflect on whether we are all outsiders in some way, trying futilely to resist oligarchic powers.

The film also draws on the metaphor of the forest as a place for self-discovery. In forging a life in a log cabin, the publisher acquires some form of self-knowledge, learning how to chop through his mental as well as the physical forest to perceive the reality underneath. The experience of isolation teaches him something about himself.

Yet such issues are contained within a dramatic form which can be most charitably described as tedious. Alper is fond of the long shot, inviting us to reflect on the mise-en-scene, a technique favored by other contemporary Turkish directors such as Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Whereas Ceylan uses such shots for thematic purposes, Alper's use of the same technique seems rather superficial, designed to slow narrative development to an ungainly crawl rather than making any particular point.

The characterization is also perfunctory; we learn little about the three protagonists' backgrounds, and hence care less about their destinies. The sex-scene involving the wife and the publisher is embarrassing in the extreme, involving a series of guttural grunts with no real commitment to the story on the actors' part. By the film's end - flagged up about thirty minutes before the final shots - we feel that they somehow deserve what happens to them, for the sheer sketchiness of their performances.


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Details

Country:

Turkey | Germany | France | Georgia

Language:

Turkish

Release Date:

13 December 2015 (Turkey) See more »

Also Known As:

Memoria vântului See more »

Filming Locations:

Trabzon, Turkey See more »

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Box Office

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$103,975
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Nar Film See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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