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The Bandit (1996)
Brilliant movie that reflects important issues in Turkish culture today
29 March 2001
I found this movie to be one of the best that have ever come out of Turkey. It addresses and reflects on many levels issues and transformations that are currently part of Turkish culture . Sener Sen is strong in his role as an aging "eskiya" (a Turkish word for a bandit that would roam the country, making his living off ambush and looting) who returns to his rural home after years of imprisonment only to find his only love taken away to the big city (Istanbul). The story unfolds as an at times romantic, at times funny, at times sad and serious tale which speaks to the multiplicities of modern Turkish life, be it the culture clash (and melding) between city and rural populace, institutional corruption, poverty, and most importantly the identity of a nation that has for almost a century been torn between East and West. The love story driving the whole plot is really only a lighter framework to depict the more important issues in Turkish society that this movie successfully tackles.
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