Kurdistan Bloggers Union Journey to the sun - Kurdistan Bloggers Union

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Sunday, November 21, 2004 

Journey to the sun

Or Günese yolculuk, of Yesim Ustaoglu. I know, the movie came out in 1999, but watching movies in late is my speciality.

Mehmet : Newroz Baz

From the first scene, while the camera floats on the waters of Golden Horn, a word, a name bursts, SIRVAN, with a music. And another name, BERZAN. But never, never in the movie, the name of a forbidden people, a forbidden land, is mentionned, as people don't dare to mention it in Turkey, even in Istanbul. And it is by an escalation of cruel adventures, that the young Mehmet, a Western Turk, understands slowly what does it mean, when your name is BERZAN and you come from Zorduç.

- Where it is ?
- Next to Iraqi border.
- Why did you come to Istanbul ?
- To count the gulls...
- Come on... Why did you come to Istanbul ?
- They killed my father. There was a raid in our home, in the night, he never came back.

And this remark of Mehmet, terribly naive, for he has not started his long descent in the dark layers of Istanbul, and that for him, such incredible things could not happen :

- You think that they've killed him just because he never came back ?
- In my region, it is always like that.

Berzan and Mehmet's friendship, Mehmet and the young Arzu's love, take place in the most engaging world of Istanbul, the poor districts' one, with their small jobs : sellers of cassettes, piping employee, laundress, sellers of lottery tickets... Firstly, Mehmet's life is simple, he has a friend with a strange name, Berzan, a girl-friend hiding (not much) from her parents to meet him, flatmates, and a TV which he never let. If sometimes, he watches Berzan in this TV, beaten by policemen's bludgeon, front of Bayrampasa prison, where people are going on hunger strike, is it his own buiseness ? But one evening, in a bus, a man gets down just before a check-point, lets his bag next to Mehmet, whose life turns upside down.

Journey to the sun is a story of networks and darkness. Invisible wires run in the town, built like all Turkey, with different layers, unfamiliar each other. There is a layer for German tourists drinking a beer on Bosphorus side. A layer where a lot of Berzan are acting in darkness. And there are some holes of fate where people fall, where the unlucky Mehmet of Tire falls. And like Ali Baba's thieves, wherever he goes after, some people always find him and draw on his door a red cross, marking him like a terrorist, making him lose his job, his flatmates, his relations... So only remain as friends these outlawed men, singing in a foreign language, and who teach him def û zurne dance.

Then we follow Mehmet et Arzu in their initiatory course... And if you are an unaware spectator, like both youths, you don't underdstand all the signs running along the movie, so meaningful signs if you know. The old woman waiting for his son in the police station, Arzu does'nt know who she is, but she wears the white scarf of Mardin, Urfa, Cizre... Sign : This family, loading all their goods in a truck, "we go to Istanbul, no my father does not understand you, he can speak only the dialect." And many miles further, a deserted village, and further, destroyed villages, and at the end, submerged by a dam... Sign : you pick up some kids in your car, they sell newspapers, they flee when they see a military chek-point, soldiers seize furiously the newspapers, we just see a short time their title : özgür Gündem... Sign : a sound engine in the night, in a town, frightens even hoteliers, and at morning, streets are full of tanks, tanks turning around direction pannels Sirnak, Siirt, Silopi... All of this appearing front of Mehmet's surprisedeyes : indication of a subversive geography, a geography starting from Urfa, with painful ramifications until Istanbul, Bayrampasa prison.

Journey to the sun is a very beautiful movie, captivating, with a serene melancholy, without despair nor hatred. On the contrary, the beauty of human meetings brings to the story a comforting heat. And the last picture of the sun rising on the mountains, with the sound of def (clarinet), could overcome each Kurdistani !

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