Motherland

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Turkey | 2015 | 92 minutes | Senem Tüzen

The traditional Turkish community and the modern individual come face to face when a progressive young woman recovering from a divorce returns to her grandmother's village to finish her novel—and her conservative mother shows up uninvited.

Saturday, May 21, 2016

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Tuesday, May 24, 2016

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"It's easier to be a stone than a mother," Halise knowingly says as she settles into her daughter's house and simultaneously disrupts her life. Nesrin is recently divorced and moved from the city to her grandmother's quiet village in Anatolia in order to work on her novel. Halise, her conservative and religious mother, unexpectedly turns up at her door and makes herself at home, turning a protective and unabashedly critical eye on everything Nesrin says or does. While her mother invites groups of women over for prayer and salacious gossip, Nesrin becomes increasingly frustrated with the situation. Unable to get any work done and feeling suffocated by her mother's presence, Nesrin is forced to confront her neglected relationship with Halise, and the two women begin the perilous journey of getting to know each other as individuals. With cinematography focusing on natural lighting, dark, tight spaces, and giving off a voyeuristic inflection, Motherland explores the complexities of the mother/daughter relationship as a means to further comment on the clash of communitarianism and modernity in present-day Turkey.

Director Biography
Senem Tüzen is a writer and director born in Ankara, Turkey, in 1980. After receiving her degree in cinema and television from Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University in Istanbul, she directed the short films Milk and Chocolate and Unus Mundus, with the latter winning the 2009 Turkish Film Critic's Association Award for Best Short Film. She makes her feature-length directorial debut with Motherland.

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  • Original Language Title: Ana Yurdu
  • Director: Senem Tüzen
  • Principal Cast: Esra Bezen Bilgin, Nihal Koldas, Semih Aydin, Fatma Kisa
  • Country: Turkey, Greece
  • Year: 2015
  • Running Time: 92 minutes
  • Producer: Olena Yershova, Adam Isenberg, Senem Tüzen
  • Screenplay: Senem Tüzen
  • Cinematographers: Vedat Özdemir
  • Editors: Adam Isenberg, Yorgos Mavropsaridis
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Adana International Film Festival 2015 (Best Script, Cinematography, Actress, SİYAD Best Film, FİLM-YÖN Best Director), Warsaw International Film Festival 2015 (FIPRESCI Award, NETPAC Award), Asia Pacific Screen Awards 2015 (Best Script, UNESCO Award Nominee), Tbilisi International Film Festival 2015 (Best Film)
  • Filmography: Debut Feature Film
  • Language: Turkish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP