Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB.5.
Original title: Hamam
Alternate title: Steam
Italy/Turkey/Spain, 1997. Sorpasso Film, Promete Film, Asbrell Productions. Story by Ferzan Ozpetek, Screenplay by Ferzan Ozpetek, Stefano Tummolini, Aldo Sambrell. Cinematography by Pasquale Mari. Produced by Marco Risi, Maurizio Tedesco. Music by Aldo De Scalzi, Pivio. Production Design by Ziya Ulkenciler, Virginia Vianello. Costume Design by Selda Cicek, Metella Raboni. Film Editing by Mauro Bonanni.
Ferzan Ospetek’s atmospheric drama is about an Italian architect (Alessandro Gassman) who finds out that one of his aunts has died in Turkey and left him a turkish bath that she once owned. Deciding to make a short trip to Istanbul to sell the property and return home, Gassman finds himself enchanted by the exotic Middle East and prolongs his stay longer than intended, eventually reopening the bathhouse and befriending the family living above it where he rooms as a guest. You can imagine his wife’s surprise when she stops in for a visit and finds that not only has he integrated himself into his new society, but has also become enamored of his hosts’ young son. This film has a lot of eye-openers to show about cross-cultural experience, skillfully acted and beautifully cloaked by a marvelous musical score.