Leaving behind a career and divorce in ruins, 32-year-old Selim returns to his hometown Izmir. Unwilling to make any plans for the future, he wanders around, revisiting people from his past. He runs into Cihan, a pal of his from the military service: a lower-class idler with a charming energy. As people start leaving the city due to an unbearable stink caused by a maritime accident, Selim finds himself gradually drawn to a new environment of idlers where he can embrace the possibilities of life again.
Today, many of us increasingly feel that we live on the edge of a manmade disaster, an environmental breakdown or another world war. At times, we can find inside ourselves the will to stand up against this catastrophe, to overcome the fear, but often we just repress these thoughts to be able to go on with life. At certain moments, however, we feel perplexed, paralyzed by its growing probability, as does The Gulf’s main protagonist Selim. Is there any way out of the deteriorating state of our world? Any hope? Yes there is, plenty of it. And that’s what I want to examine in this film.
Venice International Film Festival 2017, Settimana Della Critica
Key festivals and awards
Venice International Film Festival 2017; Seville European Film Festival 2017; Hamburg Film Festival 2017, FIPRESCI Award, Istanbul International Film Festival 2018; Rotterdam International Film Festival 2018
Director: Emre Yeksan
Production: istos film (Turkey), BirFilm (Turkey), Kundschafter Filmproduktion (Germany), Homemade Films (Greece)
World sales: tbc
German WCF partner: Kundschafter Filmproduktion (Germany)
Funded in the WCF Jury meeting in July 2016
Funding amount: 50,000 €