A harsh wintery scene on the Turkish Black Sea coast. Denise, a foreign botanist, has ended up here for research purposes. She stoically trudges through water knee-deep to get to the remote site where she cultivates her plants. With the same resolve and fearlessness, she also makes her way through the night to the secluded cabin where she meets her lover Hamit. He is a have-not who has only remained in this desolate region following a failed attempt to set up a livelihood abroad. And because of his relationship with Denise. It’s a dilemma, since Hamit cannot let her know that he works as a human trafficker, making a living by helping others flee to Europe. But Denise is tired of his mysterious behaviour. When she is called back to her home country and one of Hamit’s jobs spirals out of control, he makes a decision that ends in catastrophe.
Rich in ellipses and pointedly non-linear, Melisa Önel’s poignant debut film leaves much literally in the dark. Its striking, sombre images correspond to a world of little hope or solidarity, in which a state of inner displacement prevails.
Turkey 2014, 89 min
Ahmet Rifat Sungar