Week of films brings Turkey to Korea

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Week of films brings Turkey to Korea


Left: Films featured during Turkish Film Week. Provided by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism

Moviegoers who have had enough of Hollywood films or are looking for something new may want to check out the 3rd annual Turkish Film Week, which kicked off this week.

The event, hosted by the Turkish Embassy in Korea, is being held from May 12 to 19 at the Korea Foundation Cultural Center in downtown Seoul.

“From the 1920s to 1950s, Turkish movies were largely influenced by the theater, but the scene changed in the 50s as more of our directors gained recognition, such as Lutfi Akad and Metin Erksan, who won the Golden Bear with ‘Dry Summer’ at the Berlin Film Festival in 1964,” said Turkish Ambassador to Korea Deniz Ozmen during a talk with the JoongAng Daily at the event’s opening reception on Tuesday.

The ambassador, who introduced himself as a cineaste, noted that Korean films and filmmakers were becoming known in Turkey. “Korean director Kim Ki-duk is very popular among moviegoers in Turkey, and I, myself, am a fan of Korean director Lee Chang-dong,” Ozmen said.


Ambassador Deniz Ozmen. By Park Sun-young

“I think cinema can be an effective medium for cultural exchange and I hope people will enjoy this year’s Turkish film event,” he added.

Tonight’s film is “The Waiting Room (Bekleme Odasi)” by director Zeki Demirkubuz, who also played the lead character in the film. It tells the story of Ahmet, a filmmaker who is planning a film about Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment,” but falls into a depression that makes him completely indifferent to the project, his girlfriend and his entire life. It is the concluding film in the directors’s “Tales of Darkness” trilogy, which also includes the features “Fate” and “Confession.”

The film event continues on Monday with “Under Construction (Insaat)” by director and screenwriter Omer Vargi. The film is a black comedy that offers a glimpse into modern Turkish society via the story of Ali and Sudi, two construction workers whose lives take a radical turn after an unexpected event.

“All About Mustafa (Mustafa Hakkinda Hersey)” by director Cagan Irmak will screen Tuesday, the final day of film week. It tells the story of Mustafa, a successful businessman living a seemingly great life when a sudden accident takes it all away from him, leaving him with many questions that get answered by a cab driver. Mustafa gets a lot more than what he bargained for, however, when his interrogations take him back to long-forgotten childhood memories and force him to see his formerly perfect life from a very different perspective.

Screenings start at 7 p.m. and all films are shown with English subtitles. Admission is free. Go to City Hall subway station, lines No. 1 and 2, exit 9. For more information, contact the cultural center at (02) 2151-6500 or visit www.kfcenter.or.kr.

By Park Sun-young [spark0320@joongang.co.kr]
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