The 35th annual International Film Festival will kick off its celebration of Turkish cinema with a screening of “Vizontele Tuuba” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 9, in Plaster Hall’s Cornell Auditorium.
The 2003 film is the story of a man assigned to a remote Turkish village as the head librarian, only to discover there is no library. Though the man, his wife and their wheel-chair bound daughter are welcomed, the village does not escape the impact of political struggles in 1980s Turkey. Directed by Yilmuz Erdogan, the film was “the biggest success of the Turkish movie industry,” according to Le Monde.
The film festival, presented by the Missouri Southern State University Institute of International Studies and the Harrison and June Kash International Film Society, will feature seven other Turkish films this semester.
“Yol (The Road)”: Sept. 16
This controversial, emotionally and politically charged film tells the story of five prison inmates who are granted a brief leave from prison to return to their homes in the Kurdish southeast.
“Times and Winds”: Sept. 30
Director Reha Erdem offers a subdued, sensitive portrayal of the intersecting lives of three young teenagers who must come to grips with life struggles in a traditional mountain village.
“Beynelmilel (The International)”: Oct. 7
In 1982, a time of political tension in Turkey, a musical troupe is hired to play for the arrival of a military leader in a small town and, by mistake, winds up celebrating the occasion with the Communist “Internationale” in this light comedy and love story by co-directors Sim Sureyya and Muharrem Gumez.
“The Edge of Heaven”: Oct. 21
In a series of related stories, this German-Turkish co-production intriguingly interweaves the lives of six characters – two daughters, two mothers, a father and a son – moving back and forth between Bremen and Istanbul.
“Distant”: Oct. 28
With slow and careful persistence, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s film gradually reveals the alienation and loneliness of a recently divorced Istanbul photographer, Mahmut, who is compelled to open his home and his life to a troublesome, aimless relative, Yosuf.
“Sinav”: Nov. 11
Director Omer Faruk Sorak’s immensely popular comedy depicts the exploits of five high school students who plot to steal university entrance exam questions, enlisting the help of the world’s boldest thief (played by Jean-Claude van Damme).
“Bliss”: Nov. 18
This film by director Abdullah Oguz centers on a 17-year-old girl, Meryem, who is found unconscious and disheveled by a lake and is then forced to deal with her family’s suspicions that she has lost her chastity and an ancient moral code that condemns her to death. “Bliss”is being screened in connection with a visit to Missouri Southern by the author of the novel on which the movie is based, O.Z. Livanelli.
The International Film Festival was founded in 1962. All of the screenings are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://mssu.edu/international-studies/film-festival/