Boston Turkish Film and Music Festival4th ANNUAL BOSTON TURKISH FILM FESTIVAL SM
April 1 - April 10, 2005

"Director in Focus: REHA ERDEM"

WHAT'S A HUMAN ANYWAY? (Insan Nedir ki? a.k.a. Korkuyorum Anne)

New England Premiere


Directed and written  by Reha Erdem
Cast:  Ali Dusenkalkar, Koksal Engur, Arzu Bazam,  Turgay Aydin, Isil Vucesoy, Senay Gurler, 
Ozam Uygun, Aydogan Oflu
2004, 128 minutes
In Turkish with English subtitles  


Festivals and Awards:

  • Best Actor (Ali Dusenkalkar), 10th Nurnberg Turkey-Germany Film Festival (9-20 March 2005)
  • Best Director, Best Screenplay (Reha Erdem, Nilufer Gungormus), Best Actor (Ali Dusenkalkar), Best Supporting Actress (Isil Yucesoy), Best Supporting Actor (Koksal Engur), Best New Actor (Ozan Colak), 16th International Ankara Film Festival (3-13 March 2005)
  • 23rd International Istanbul Film Festival (National Competition)
  • FIPRESCI (International Critics' Association) Award



What's A Human Anyway? is set in modern-day Istanbul, Turkey. Thirty-five-year-old Ali (Ali Düsenkalkar) is knocked unconscious in an accident, possibly related to the robbery of a jewelry store, and has lost his memory. Although he remembers many of the people who live in his apartment building, he cannot remember his father, Rasih (Koksal Engur), a retired health officer. Rasih is vexed by this state of affairs and continuously insults his son and his amnesia. Coming to recognize the strange reality of being human, Ali is like a newborn baby, not only trying to remember past events, but also exploring his own body.

Mirroring Ali's confusion, all the characters in the story find themselves in a state of chaos - chaos being life itself. As Ali's father and neighbors try to help him remember, other comical characters are introduced.

In the film's finale, pieces of the intricate puzzle finally fit, and all of the events each character has experienced create a larger picture of what it means to be human.

"The film is sweet, very humanistic (hence the title) and very entertaining. … It has the potential to please audiences around the world." - Engin Ertan, Fipresci (International Critics' Association)


About the Director: Reha Erdem

Reha Erdem began his studies in history at Bogazici University in Istanbul. In 1983, he went to Paris 8 University to major in Cinema and Modern Art and completed a graduate degree. He directed his first feature film, A Ay (Oh Moon) in 1989. It received awards at the Nantes Film Festival, and was screened at the Locarno, Moscow, Vancouver and Dunkerque Film Festivals. His second feature, Kac Para Kac (A Run for Money, 1999) represented Turkey at the Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. It was featured at the Tokyo, Munich, London, Oslo, Thessaloniki and Seattle Film Festivals, and also was screened in the 3rd Boston Turkish Film Festival in 2004. Erdem was invited to direct Hizmetciler (The Maids) by Jean Genet for the Istanbul National Theater in 1991. He directed a short film called Deniz Turkusu (The Sea Song), inspired by the poem of famous Turkish poet Yahya Kemal Bayatli. Since 1990, he has directed over a hundred TV commercials. In 1993, he founded Atlantik Film production company with Omer Atay.

Insan Nedir ki? (What's a Human Anyway? 2004)
Deniz Turkusu (Song of the Sea, short, 2001)
A Run for Money (Kac Para Kac, 1999)
A Ay (Oh Moon, 1989)

NTVMSNBC, 24 Mart 2005: Oyuncunun Adi Ali Dusenkalkar



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