Sep 27, 2023
M. Furkan Dasbilek
Mucahit Kocak, Okan Selvi, Muhammed Mayda
Our schooldays will evoke sharp memories of characters that inhabit the classroom. We all remember the quiet miscreant who says little but makes his presence known to all and sundry; the child who delights in exclusion and get their wish when they are suspended from school. However, in this scenario the teacher in charge is distracted and busily fighting for access to his son. It is a bleak but curious snap shot of life in the Turkish countryside. Director Turan Haste fashions an expressive script leaving a series of threads that need to be picked up at some point.
The difficult child in question is Yusuf (Muhammed Mayda) who regularly torments classmate Ayse (Elif Eylul Yesilyurt). Teacher Ishack (Mucahit Kocak) really wants a quiet life and is desparate to mend a broken relationship with his ex-wife and son. He finds an unlikely ally in school caretaker Siracettin (Okan Selvi) who confides that Yusuf’s father is just as troublesome and has upset a number of locals. The mundanity and relative peace of the village is shattered when Ayse goes missing. As fears grow for her safety the police mobilise in readiness. In a small community people soon start to talk and it can only be a matter of time before the culprit is exposed.
For a short film completely lacking in pace the narrative never drags to an inordinate degree. Teasing glimpses of Ishack’s life are captured with a phone call and a text message. Yusuf is a toxic influence on the rest of class particularly Ismail (Baran Salman) who is never able to tell Ishack exactly what the problem is. Siracettin is hiding much more than he shows and seems locked in petty squabbles that would surely make enemies. Although brief this film carries a universal truth. No matter the country, culture or language the human condition is the same the world over.