Film Week honors the spirit of July 15th through resistance films


Societies in different parts of the world have shown resistance to repressive regimes and have taken action to fight for their just cause and defend their rights. But the military forces intervened every now and then and overthrew the legitimate governments, causing chaos and confusion.

Turkey is a country familiar with military coups, as it has faced many coups throughout the history of its republic. However, The last coup attempt in 2016 It was different from its predecessors in that it was not introduced by officials of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK). Instead, it was organized by a particular group now known as FETÖ, which infiltrated many state institutions. But the Turkish people took to the streets in response to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s call to resist on this darkest night and achieved a legendary victory over the FETÖ.

The Republic of Turkey celebrates the fifth anniversary of the coup attempt on July 15 this year. The state organized various celebrations, sports activities and cultural events, such as heroic folk song concerts or fairs, to commemorate the black day in which dozens were killed defending the country’s democratic institutions against the putschists. so that An exclusive historical museum honoring the sacrifices made to support democracy in Turkey That night it was opened in the heart of Istanbul in 2019, next to the July 15 Martyrs’ Bridge.

Among the events of this year’s celebrations, Film Week On5sıfır7 (July 15th) stands out because it uses CinemaThe seventh art, as a tool to express the conscience. Organized by the 15th of July Association with the support of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the General Directorate of Cinema and the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) – the national public radio of Turkey – the event presents 17 selected films on coups and resistance from world cinema in three cinemas in Istanbul for free between July 12-18.

Still from a movie
Still from the movie “1957: Hati Malaya”.

The event was presented on July 8 at Atlas Cinemas Istanbul With a festive screening of the TRT documentary “Muharram” (“Secret”), which brought the dark private structure of the infiltration of the FETÖ into the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), as well as the mysterious events preceding the July 15, 2016 coup attempt of the group on big screen. In the first episode of the documentary, the statements of Gülen terror victims are included along with interviews with former members of the organization revealing their true identities for the first time since they benefited from the enforced penance law. It also explains how and in what ways the terrorist group provided military school entrance examination questions to young men it specially trained for their placement in military academies. The documentary was shot at 159 different locations in four cities over the course of 11 weeks. His episodes will also be shown on TRT.

After its release, Film Week began featuring many captivating productions with captivating stories. Let’s explore some of the movies that are in the program.

still shot of
Still shot from “Kamchatka”.

The first film in the event program is “Ses” by Turkish director Zeki Okten (“The Voice”). The 1986 production depicts a Mediterranean town overrun by vacationers in the summer and only home to local fishing families in the winter. A strange young man comes to town one day. The young man, whom the townspeople call “the opposition,” spent six years in prison for political reasons and faced various pressures before coming here. The film presents a political story that reflects the tribulations of a bleak age.

The Argentine-Spain-Italian co-production “Kamchatka” is the second film in the event programme. The production tells about life in Argentina after the 1976 military coup through the eyes of a 10-year-old boy named Harry. After witnessing the “disappearance” of their dissident friends, a rights lawyer and his investigative researcher wife flee the city and hide from the police in an empty summer house. The couple has two children: Harry and his younger brother El Inano. Family members adopt their new identities and try to lead a normal life. In the course of events, a student who uses the pseudonym Lucas also joins the family.

Malaysian historical film “1957: Hati Malaya” directed by Shahimi Baba. The film focuses on Tunku Abdul Rahman, founder of the Alliance Party. Despite the opposition of the British, who wanted to delay the country’s independence, Abdul Rahman became the first Prime Minister of Malaysia.

still shot of
Fixed screenshot of “Search”.

Like “1957: Hati Malaya”, the Azerbaijani film “Dolu” (“Hail”) also presents a historical story on the big screen for the audience. Directed by Elkhan Jafarov, it is loosely based on the first Nagorno-Karabakh war. At the end of the twentieth century, the people of Nagorno-Karabakh were massacred before the eyes of the world, but no one heard the voice of these people. Adapted from the novel of the same name by writer Akil Abbas, this film focuses on the heroism of Azerbaijani soldiers who fought in the Karabakh war against the Armenian forces.

Another film in the program is about Latin American politics. “Missing” by director Costa Gavras caused a major controversy in the United States when it first appeared in 1982. Young journalist Charles Horman, who lives with his wife in Chile, learns that the CIA was behind the military coup in Chile on September 11 1973. After a while, he was arrested and no one heard from him again. His father and wife began searching for the missing journalist. This search, which continues through streets, alleys, government buildings, stadiums, and mortuaries, step by step Father Ed Horman loses faith in his country. Jack Lemmon, one of the important actors of American comedies, plays an interesting character in the role of the father. The film won Best Adapted Screenplay at the Academy Awards and the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival.

Jack Lemon and Sissy Spacek in a scene from the movie Missing.
Jack Lemon and Sissy Spacek in a scene from “Missing”.

The 2014 French drama The Search, written and directed by Michel Hazanavicius, is a fantastic movie that draws attention to the action. The events of the film take place in 1999, during the Chechen war. It centers around Carol, who works for a charity, and Haji, a child affected by war. Upon meeting Hajji in the refugee camp, Carol is deeply touched by the boy and takes him to her home. But in the meantime, Risa, the older sister of the little boy, is desperately searching for her brother.

Mustafa AkkadThe cult film “The Lion of the Desert” also falls on the calendar of events. In 1929, during the Italian invasion of Libya, the Libyans protected their homeland against the soldiers of Benito Mussolini, who brutally massacred many in the country. They gather around the people’s 82-year-old leader, Omar Mukhtar, and begin an effective resistance. In order to put an end to this protracted war, Mussolini sent Rodolfo Graziani, one of his most ruthless generals, to the region. General Graziani, who came to Libya to eliminate Omar Mukhtar and the Bedouins, cracks down on Libyan irregular fighters as soon as he arrives. They could not hold out long against the regular army of the Italians and were eventually defeated. The film, which tells a historical event with poignant and poignant images and was filmed with wide production possibilities, attracted great interest with the outstanding performance of actor Anthony Quinn as Omar Mukhtar and Oliver Reed as Graziani.

1998 Pakistani-British epic biographical film “Jinnah” tells the story of the life of Muhammad Ali Jinnah, founder of the Pakistani state, through flashbacks as his soul tries to find eternal peace. Flashbacks began in 1947 with Jinnah’s efforts to establish a separate society with the goal of establishing an Islamic system.

The films are shown at Istanbul’s Atlas Cinema, Tarif Zafer Tunaya Cultural Center and Baglarbasi Cultural Center. Besides film screenings, Film Week will also organize a session titled “Theme of Coup and Resistance in Cinema”.

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