Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB.
Original title: Bir Zamanlar Anadolu’da
Turkey/Bosnia and Herzegovina, 2011. Zeynofilm, Production 2006, 1000 Volt, Turkish Radio & Television, Imaj, Fida Film, NBC Film. Screenplay by Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ercan Kesal. Cinematography by Gokhan Tiryaki. Produced by Zeynep Ozbatur Atakan, Can Yilmaz. Production Design by Cagri Erdogan. Costume Design by Ozlem Batur, Meral Efe, Nildag Kilis. Film Editing by Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Bora Goksingol. Cannes Film Festival 2011. Independent Spirit Awards 2012. New York Film Critics Awards 2012. Toronto International Film Festival 2011.
There is a plot, but it’s not where the magic resides: this lyrical, emotionally detailed and passionately humane film’s strengths are in the way that director Nuri Bilge Ceylan puts his characters into a situation and watches the way they deal with them so closely that you almost feel you can see into their souls. A police officer, a doctor and their team escort a murder suspect around the Turkish countryside as he tries to remember where he buried the body of a man he has confessed to killing. Every place they go turns out to be an incorrect memory, making for a long night of frustrating clues, banal conversations, and even a rest-stop at a village mayor’s compound. To try and describe its profundity is pointless, it is an experience that must simply be felt. The delicate touches that Ceylan brings to the experience go beyond the screen for an incredibly powerful motion picture.