Everyone in Turkey is familiar with the delicious pistachio-filled baklava that is made in Gaziantep in Anatolia. This is where sixteen-year-old Mustafa works in his uncle’s large bakery, together with a lot of other boys. The rules here are clear-cut: if an apprentice is disrespectful to a master baker this could well earn the apprentice a beating. The novice bakers – some of them no more than ten years of age – are fed up with being bossed around by master bakers at work and parents at home. They all have dreams of a better life. Mustafa longs to go to Istanbul where he hopes to gain fame as the greatest baklava baker of all time. One day, he decides to set off – against his uncle’s wishes. Director Angelos Abazoglou interweaves Mustafa’s story with documentary-style images of real local people and locations. Thus we are treated to images of women at the market, as well as village life and men enjoying a dance together. Abazoglou reserves his most poetic and sensual images for the portrayal of baklava-making: be it the wafer-thin layers of pastry shimmering against the light or the powdery dusting of flour on the young apprentices’ hair. And no sooner do the sweet pastries emerge from the oven than the mouth begins to drool.
by Angelos Abazoglou
Greece / United Kingdom 2011