Something Useful

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Turkey | 2017 | 108 minutes | Pelin Esmer

Following a serendipitous meeting on a train through the rugged Turkish countryside, two women unite for a journey that will offer new insight into the importance of charting one's own path, wherever it may lead.

Leyla (Ba┼čak Köklükaya) is a lawyer and a poet who has decided to attend her high school reunion after 25 years of neglecting previous invitations. Canan (Öykü Karayel) is a young nurse in training who dreams of one day becoming an actress. The two women meet on the train and quickly form a relationship as each sees something of herself in the other-women making their own way in a sometimes hostile world. Gradually, Leyla learns that Canan's reason for travel is more momentous than previously thought: She is traveling to the home of a colleague's friend, a quadriplegic man, to assist him in his suicide. Something Useful is a stark and beautiful film the aesthetics of which are evident not just in the sparse and mountainous Turkish landscape, but also in the nuanced gestures of the characters. Köklükaya is a compelling if somewhat enigmatic presence on the screen, whose facial expressions-a grin, a smile, an incredulous glance-are as magnetic as they are mysterious. The film is patiently refined in its deliverance, and its final scene among all three characters will leave audiences refreshed with a new appreciation for life. With its subtle blend of intrigue, stillness, and enchantment, Something Useful is an exquisite Turkish film that speaks profoundly about the importance of charting one's own path, wherever it may lead.

Director Biography
Pelin Esmer briefly studied Sociology in her native city of Istanbul, Turkey before moving to film. While working as an assistant director on various Turkish and foreign movies she started making her own independent films. Her second feature Watchtower (2012) played at the Toronto International Film Festival. Esmer founded the production company Sinefilm in 2005.

Sponsored by Turkish American Cultural Association of WA, Seattle Turkish Film Festival

  • Original Language Title: Ise yarar bir sey
  • Director: Pelin Esmer
  • Principal Cast: Basak Koklukaya, Oyku Karayel, Yigit Ozsener
  • Premiere Status: North American
  • Country: Turkey, France, Netherlands, Germany
  • Year: 2017
  • Running Time: 108 minutes
  • Producer: Yonca Erturk, Mehmet Aktas, Francois d'Artemare
  • Screenplay: Baris Bicakci, Pelin Esmer
  • Cinematographers: Gokhan Tiryaki
  • Editors: Pelin Esmer, Evren Lus
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Filmography: Watchtower (2012); 10 to 11 (2009) ; The Play (2005); Koleksiyoncu: The Collector (2002)
  • Language: Turkish
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • Format: DCP