Winters are hard in eastern Turkey. There is snow, as far as the eye can see and barely a lump of coal to be found for heating, but plenty of soldiers on every corner. It is the 1980s and the effects of the military dictatorship are to be felt everywhere here. But Serhat, Gurbuz and Ibrahim do not seem to be bothered about any of that. During the school holidays they set off with their little wooden sleds through the cold to collect bits of coal from ash heaps for their scattered families. Left to themselves, they somehow get by and pass the time recounting again and again the plots of the few films they know. The authoritarian conditions in their country are as much a part of their existence as are the tricks they employ to survive each day.
Faruk Hacıhafızoğlu’s cinematic debut is a stylistically rigorous portrait of the time of the military dictatorship, seen through the eyes of these boys. Told in static shots and with a sparing use of music he describes his young protagonists’ unswerving sense of optimism. Their inseparable friendship and their courage are stronger than the cold and oppression.
Turkey 2014, 83 min
Taha Tegin Özdemir
Yakup Özgür Kurtaal
Arda Ilkin Parlak
Figen Oral Cebel
© Internationale Filmfestspiele Berlin