In a Time For Sleep


Directed by Tofiq Rzayev Starring Göknur Danişik, Mekmet Fatih Güven & Elif Barut Short Film Review by Monica Jowett

Short Turkish film In a Time for Sleep, directed by Tofiq Rzayev, is an insight into one woman’s journey after a celebratory dinner which takes a turn for the worse.

The film follows Leyla (Göknur Danişik) who has had a huge argument with her boyfriend Arda (Mekmet Fatih Güven) with devastating results. However, instead of descending a downward spiral to deal with the aftermath, Leyla shows her true self and courage.


As the central character, Leyla is easy to warm to and her actions are extreme, but understandable. From the outset, we can see she is a woman unhappy in her relationship, as Arda does not seem to care for her at all. But she is someone who can find comfort and happiness with herself and in the company of another woman. Her actions are the beginning of her freedom, and it is heartening to see that in a female character.

Arda’s other girlfriend (Elif Barut) makes a great partner for Leyla. Both hurt and angry at Arda, they form a quick connection, and being the older woman, she steps into a protective role over Leyla. Again, the short film creates another interesting female character, who is clearly a strong person, as she is easily able to handle the situation with Arda, and seeing he has been cheating on her with another woman.


The film’s music plays an important role as well. Though absent from the film in the first half, the music begins when Leyla’s future looks more positive, when she too starts to have a more optimistic outlook about where her life is heading. Even though the music is not necessarily upbeat, it is happy and calming, a perfect reflection of what is happening to the characters toward the end.

The cinematography in the short film is lovely to look at. The carefully chosen colour palette works well in each scene, and stays consistent throughout. The close-up shots of each character help to keep the focus and really draw out the emotions of Leyla, Arda and the other girlfriend, and you can easily see the pain or happiness on their faces.

With an interesting development of Leyla’s character, it is also a refreshing to see such different but equally wonderful female characters on screen in Rzayev’s short film.

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