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Green Lanes Short Film Review


Directed by: #GüniKoçak and #MarieDrisch

Written By: #GüniKoçak

Short film review by: Brian Penn

Green Lanes (2021)

The opening shots of a busy North London street are reassuring in their normality, and offer the viewer a glimpse of inspiration for this effective new film by Güni Koçak and Marie Drisch. It tells the story of Yusef (Güni Koçak), a twenty-something looking for a direction in life. Girlfriend Fiona (Elizabeth Tan) is a promising law student and has been dating Yusef for two years. But typically delays the first introduction to his family for a host of reasons; the day finally arrives as Yusef takes Fiona home to meet his parents.

Mother Emine (Fisun Burgess) is affectionate and quickly reaches for the photo album. Father Cem (Nej Adamson) is gruff and fires broadsides at his underachieving son. The strained politeness of that first meeting with the in-laws is tempered by the hope that things will get easier. However, the family are keeping a tragic secret that is threatening to destroy their lives. Can Fiona heal the wounds left unattended for so long?

Green Lanes alights on the simple but effective portrayal of a family in crisis; a close-knit unit torn apart by events beyond their control. The emotional fallout is well-judged and benefits from understated, natural performances from the cast. In times of need, we invariably turn to our kin for support. That would almost always be family; but what happens when they become estranged and uncommunicative?

Talking may be the easiest activity in theory, but in practice, it’s often too painful to reach for the feelings we all have. Instead, it festers and burns without resolution. Talking may not bring back what has been lost, but does help us cope with our feelings. One line in this film perfectly sums up the importance of family, ‘whatever happens to one of us happens to all of us’. It’s a beautifully observed and perceptive statement; we share the joy and feel the pain that life throws at us because we are family.

Watch the film trailer:



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