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Sivas

Kaan Müjdeci
Turkey, Germany 2014 / 97’

Eleven-year-old Aslan wants to be a prince. He has a role in a school performance of Snow White, which reveals the social divisions between the students. The poorest students have to settle for the roles of the dwarves. Hurt by his teacher's decision, Aslan finds solace in a dog that was abandoned after a bloody fight. The animal cannot, however, escape its fate-in the Turkish provinces, it has to steal in order to get a bowl of food. The raw landscape of the Anatolian landscape, which, as in Nuri Bilge Ceylan's films, is also an important character, highlights the fatalism found in Kaan Müjdeci's first feature film. While childlike sensitivity gives way to a calculating approach to life, growing up turns out to be survival training, and violence the only language that anyone understands. Although the camera adopts Aslan's perspective, close to the ground and trembling with anger, the director does not allow himself to fall for the sort of tenderness found, for example, in the "children's films" by Iranian Majid Majidi. Devoid of sentimentality and cloudy like Aslan's gaze, Sivas shows that Turkish cinema has an expressive new voice.

Mariusz Mikliński

awards

Venice IFF 2014 – Special Jury Prize, Bisato d’Oro for Best Actor (Doğan Izci); Antalya Golden Orange FF 2014 – Special Jury Award for Best Film, Behlül Dal Special Jury Award (Doğan Izci), Best Editing; Angers European FF 2015 – Best Actor (Doğan Izci)

Kaan Mujdeci

Kaan Müjdeci is a Turkish producer, director, and screenwriter. He moved to Berlin in 2003 in order to study film direction. During his stay in Germany, he dabbled in a variety of activities, including running an illegal cinema and opening a bar and a clothing store. In 2012, he made a documentary about dog fighting in Anatolia called Fathers and Sons. He takes up this subject again in his award-winning feature-film debut, Sivas.

Selected filmography

2010 Tag der Deutschen Einheit (short)

2011 Fathers and Sons / Babalar ve Oğullari (short doc.)

2014 Sivas

Cast & Crew

director Kaan Müjdeci
screenplay Kaan Müjdeci
cinematography Armin Dierolf, Martin Solvang
editing Yorgos Mavropsaridis
cast Doğan Izci, Okan Avcı, Ozan Çelik, Ezgi Ergin, Banu Fotocan
producer Kaan Müjdeci, Yasin Müjdeci
production Kaan Film Production, Coloured Giraffes
sales Coloured Giraffes
language Turkish
colouration colour