Turkey/Germany, 2008, 106 minutes
Sat, May 2 / 4:30 / Clay / AUTU02Y
Mon, May 4 / 1:30 / Kabuki / AUTU04K
Tue, May 5 / 9:00 / Kabuki / AUTU05K
Özcan Alper is an emerging filmmaker of unusual confidence and a new voice in Turkish cinema. His feature film debutthe first full-length narrative in the northeast Hemsin languageis an intense yet understated elegy to lost youth, in which the plot mirrors the inexorable drift from autumn to winter. Released after ten years as a political prisoner, Yusuf struggles to engage with a world that has moved on. His health severely damaged, he returns to his widowed mother in an isolated mountain region near the Black Sea, where he passes hours in solitary games of chess and briefly stirs to help a local boy with his math lessons. Isolated in a region deserted by young people, Yusuf contacts his old friend Mikhail, the married village carpenter, who takes him to a coastal town and sets him up with Eka, a prostitute who sends money to her daughter and mother in post-Soviet Georgia. Yusuf rejects an empty sexual encounter, but he and Eka come to share a bleak understanding between disillusioned and lonely souls. Masterful use of color and landscape sparely suggests the interior states of the central characters. As green and golden mountains are quietly buried in snow, and the steel gray sea rises to pound a lonely pier, we feel the characters desperation and loss. Autumn was inspired by Alpers life as a university student in Istanbul and by the violent actions of the Turkish government to stop ongoing hunger strikes in political prisons.
In Turkish, Georgian and Hemsin with English subtitles. New Directors Prize Contender.