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  7. Journey to the Sun

Journey to the Sun

Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Turkey/Netherlands/Germany 1999, 104 Min. Min., OV with English subs
Followed by a talk with

Journey to the Sun follows the story of Mehmet, a young Turkish man who is trying to make it in Istanbul; his developing friendship with a Kurd, Berzan; and the transformation Mehmet undergoes through these encounters. The film marks an important point in Turkish cinema as it considers the Turkish-Kurdish issue critically and “externally” (from a Turkish point of view). At the same time, the film also questions this perspective of Turkishness as a dominant identity against Kurdishness. Journey to the Sun is akin to a panorama of Turkey in the 90s, produced when war and state violence in the Kurdish regions and societal violence in the west of Turkey were intensely present. The film is set in Istanbul and Kurdish geographies, where unsolved murders, bodiless corpses and dead bodies that cannot be buried exist, where violence spreads from the state across society, the state's militarist machine colonizes geographic and social space, poverty prevails, and where the living are like the dead and the dead continue to live.