Bulutlari Beklerken

Waiting for the Clouds
The 1970s in Turkey were a time of social and political upheaval. In addition, the country’s shared border with the Soviet Union was a constant source of anxiety and paranoia. For this reason, Communists and those who did not tow the political line were kept under strict surveillance and the social and intellectual climate in the country was informed by an atmosphere of intolerance and mistrust. The city of Trabzon, on the shores of the Black Sea in Turkey’s north-eastern border region, was certainly no exception.
To the west of Trabzon lies a fishing village called Trebolu where an old woman named Ayshe lives. Ever since her sister’s death, Ayshe has become more and more of a recluse, shutting herself off from the rest of the village community. Two village boys, Mehmet and Cengiz, show genuine concern for the old lady, but the rest of the village begin to harbour suspicions about her behaviour. One day, a stranger named Tanasis arrives on the scene. The boys are convinced the stranger is a spy – until they discover his connection to Ayshe as a result of something that happened long ago…
Ayshe’s story takes us back to a long-forgotten episode during the First World War when, in the midst of the fighting in the winter of 1916, the Ottoman army conquered and occupied a number of villages to the west of the Russian-occupied city of Trabzon. As a result, local inhabitants became victims of ethnic cleansing and often murderous deportations. Only by burdening herself with a deep sense of guilt could Ayshe, or Eleni as she was known at the time, succeed in escaping…
by Yesim Ustaoglu
with Rüçhan Çaliskur, Ridvan Yagci, Ismail Baysan, Dimitris Kaberidis
France / Germany / Turkey 2004 87’

Additional information

Download additional information