The Long Way Home

Eve Dönüş: Sarıkamış 1915
Turkey, 2013
Directed by:

Dir.: Alphan Eseli
Prod.:  Oguz Peri
Scr.: Serdar Tantekin, Alphan Eseli
Phot.: Hayk Kirakosyan R.G.C.
Ed.: Ömer Özyilmazel
Music: Mihály Víg
Cast: Uğur Polat, Nergis Öztürk, Serdar Orçin
Distributor: Istanbul ‘74/Bocek Yapim
115 mins

The snow-covered mountainscapes of Eastern Anatolia constituted a fatal frontier for many war exiles after the battle of Sarikamish in 1915, and provides a canvas laced with beauty and threat for the superb debut feature of Alphan Eşeli. Starting out with three characters – a refugee mother and daughter and their grizzled guide – the film traces their daunting trek across this barren terrain to safety, with the Russians encroaching and other stragglers, including a pair of wounded Ottoman soldiers, all orbiting the same burnt-out village. Puncturing its aura of ghostly impasse with some shocking narrative reversals, and constantly prickling with the mutual dread of strangers in gruelling extremes, the movie stakes out hugely credible ground next to established Eastern Front war classics while remaining thoroughly its own beast. The director hired Hungarian musician Mihaly Víg - known for his collaborations with director Béla Tarr to compose movie's main theme.


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