Directed by: Kadir Balci | 90 minutes | drama | Actors: Burak Balci, Charlotte Vandermeersch, Nihat Altinkaya, Tilbe Saran
At the beginning of ‘Turquaze’ Timur is ordered by his brother to settle down. The hint that follows could not be clearer: it must be with a Muslim woman. But the young Turk has his own agenda. He has been dating the Flemish Sarah for more than a year. Both lovebirds keep the relationship from their families. It immediately becomes clear that there is still a lot of taboo on the multicultural society. Director Kadir Balci tries to explain things with this small film.
Timur cares about cultural differences. For example, he reports to the local brass band to play the trumpet. And what sounds more Flemish than a music orchestra? There is one in every village. His brother Ediz is less tolerant. He prefers to speak his native language and the other culture consists only of unbelievers. We find out later in the film that his behavior is quite hypocritical. But it goes without saying that these two different views clash quite a bit.
The most poignant observation in the entire movie is in the scene when Timur meets Sarah’s parents. That very first look from the mother not only gives the main character chills. The rest of the conversation is a typical example of a small village mentality. It is almost impossible for Balci to dig up her own experiences here.
The big surprise of this print is the director’s brother. Debutant Burak Balci walks through the story as if he had been around for years. We find that solidity in the rest of ‘Turquaze’. It all looks very neat. Be sure to check out the images in which Timur wanders through Istanbul. A fine example of cinematic poetry. It’s just a pity that the print doesn’t bite hard enough.
‘Turquaze’ does not promise great insights, but the message still gets through.
There is still a lot of work to be done.