Semih Kaplanoğlu | Turkey | 2007 | 97' | Turkish spoken, Dutch subtitles
Upon his mother's death, poet Yusuf returns to his childhood hometown, which he hadn't visited for years. A young girl, Ayla, awaits him in a crumbling house. Yusuf was unaware of the existence of this distant relation, who has been living with his mother for five years. Ayla has something to ask of Yusuf. Yusuf is obliged to perform the sacrifice his mother Zehra had been prevented by death from fulfilling. Yusuf agrees, as he finds himself unable to withstand the passive rhythm of rural life, the spaces imbued with the ghosts and characters of old lovers and friends; nor can he shake off an overriding feeling of guilt.
Yusuf and Ayla set off for for the traditional sacrifice ceremony at the saint's tomb, some three or four hours away. Unable to locate the herd from which the sacrificial animal was to be selected, they have to spend the night in a hotel by the crater lake. Yusuf and Ayla are drawn closer together by the atmosphere of the wedding party at the hotel. While falling snow covers guilt, the place to which they return will no longer be the same old town.
Thursday 19 August, 07.15 PM, Rialto