Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Susuz Yaz
Turkey, 1964. Hitit. Story by Necati Cumali, Screenplay by Metin Erksan, Kemal Inci, Ismet Soydan. Cinematography by Ali Ugur. Produced by Ulvi Dogan. Music by Manos Hatzidakis, Yamaci. Film Editing by Stuart Gellman, Turgut Inangiray.
A greedy, unmarried man decides that since the main source of his village’s water is on his family’s land, he should damn up the spring and force his neighbours to pay to irrigate their crops. Soon afterwards his younger, more handsome brother marries the local beauty and causes jealousy in the elder sibling that is not eased by his neighbours turning, justifiably, against him for his greedy ways. His lust for power and control take him to low, immoral means as he schemes to get his own brother out of the way in order to have his woman, and stubbornly continues to control the village’s water even when the law sides against him. This beautifully shot Turkish melodrama drips with sexual frustration and lust in its every frame, so atmospheric and tense that its familiar, soap-opera plot is incredibly easy to take. On top of that the direction is strong and the performances are all very good.
The Criterion Collection: #688
Berlin Film Festival Award: Golden Bear