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My Only Sunshine

Reha Erdem
Hayat var
Turkey, Greece, null 2008 / 121’

The Bosporus is a symbolic line between Europe and Asia. It also divides the life and world of the fourteen-year-old Hayat. On one shore, there is the girl's school and Istanbul, colourful and admirable with its glimmering lights in the evening, when seen from far away, but not at all similar to a picturesque metropolis when watched closely. On the other shore - there is her home, which offers no safety or shelter. Both these worlds are equally unfriendly and uncompromising, dominated by men and men's needs. Hayat's life passes between the sick bed-ridden grandfather and the father who smuggles alcohol and prostitutes onto ships in the Strait. Suspended between the two spaces, Hayat lives in her own world, she feels secure on water, onboard of a little boat with which her father takes her across Bosporus to school every day. Reha Erdem presents the outskirts of the Turkish capital city, places which are not shown by travel agencies, which are unknown to tourists. He presents the emotions people would rather hide. There is no carefree childhood here; it is hard and painful to cross borders when there is no support. And yet Hayat has the courage to live on hope. After all, her name means life in Turkish.

Monika Kocbuch

Reha Erdem

Born in 1960 in Istanbul, director, screenwriter, one of the most distinguished contemporary filmmakers in Turkey, along with Nuri Bilge Ceylan and Fatih Akin. In 1983 he gave up studying history at the university in Istanbul to enter film theory in Paris. His first feature film Oh Moon was selected as the best film of the year by the Turkish Authors Associations and nominated to a European Film Award. His second film, Run for Money was the official Turkish candidate for an Oscar award in 1999. So far, Erdem has won the most recognition and festival awards for his fourth film Times and Winds screened at the ENH 2007.


1989 A ay / Oh Moon

1995 Deniz Türküsü / Song of the Sea (short)

1999 Kaç para kaç / Run for Money

2004 Insan nedir ki? / Mommy, I'm Scared

2006 Bes vakit / Times and Winds

2006 Ekim'de hic bir kere / Anytime in October (short)

2008 Hayat var / My Only Sunshine

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