13th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival | March 20 - April 26 2014

JÎN

 

Jin - Reha Erdem

Jîn is something of a Red Riding Hood, a 17-year-old girl determined to live, to participate in life no matter what it takes; and to this end she finds herself battling her way bravely through dark forests.

The film opens with Jîn fleeing an armed organization in the mountains for an unknown reason. She spends solitary days in the mountains and forests hiding both from organization members and from security forces. Her aim is to get to the big city, to achieve her dreams of new and wider worlds unknown to her until now. Armed with a small but robust body and a fresh but powerful sense of resolve, she manages to create a space for herself in the dark and forbidding wilderness. She gets caught in crossfire and courageously dodges the bullets, she knows fear and cold, she finds things to eat. The animals she closes ranks with, perhaps because they face similar threats, are her greatest source of strength and consolation. She shares a cave with a bear to escape a shelling, she finds an ally in a deer, she treats an injured donkey, she makes a pact with a savage bird whose egg she eats, she’s consoled by a wildcat, alerted by a snake and protected by a horse...

Eventually, she lays her hands on some civil clothing and makes her way down from the mountains.  But for Jîn, the plains are more dangerous than the mountains, more threatening and more hurtful. No matter how hard she tries, how resolutely she struggles, she can’t break through the barricade closing in on her, and the world of her dreams remains elusive. She continues to take a battering both to her willowy frame and to the feelings and sensitivities inside. She returns, deeply disillusioned, to her solitary existence in the mountains and reaches out mournfully to the natural world. She finds herself caught once more between toppled trees and dismembered animals as the shells and bullets rain down. By now her sense of rebellion has turned to despair. Stuck in an impasse, Jîn has no one but the trees and animals to nurse her wounded body and soul.

Director’s Note

Throughout human history, fairy tales, legends and songs have always held the same message; don’t hurt anyone, don’t kill! But because of the “other” he has consistently created across all lands, cultures and climates, mankind has never progressed beyond preaching the message. He can’t…. For he has always seen those who speak a different language, who are a different color, who hold different beliefs, who choose a different sexual orientation - in other words, the “other” - as a threat to himself. And fear of this threat has driven him to threaten the “other”, to try to destroy him. Wherever you look in the world, the extermination of the “other” continues, as ever, today.

Even those not personally involved in the extermination support it, consciously or unconsciously, through their insensitivity and lack of reaction. You might think there were no witnesses…

It strikes me, however, that for millions of years the most honorable witnesses have been animals. Although they themselves are direct victims of the exterminations, they are witness to the savagery and pain through their stares, their bearing, and their wounds. Doesn’t the most hopeful way of avoiding the next extermination start by finding witnesses to the previous one?

This film sets out to tell the tale of one such extermination from the perspective of its witnesses. And with this motivation, it attempts to create its own, unique rhythm.

R. Erdem

Selected Festivals and Awards

  • Brussels Film Festival, Belgium (2013): Cinelab Award for the Best Image
  • Fünf Seen Film Festival, Germany (2013): Horizonte Human Rights Award
  • Lessina Film Festival, Italy (2013): Best Feature Film
  • Buster Film Festival, Denmark (2013): Best Youth Actor (Deniz Hasgüler)
  • Let’s CEE Film Festival, Austria (2013): Jury’ Special Mention
  • Adana Golden Boll Film Festival, Turkey (2013): Best Director, Promising Actress Award (Deniz Hasgüler)
  • Adelaide Film Festival, Australia (2013): Best Film Award
  • 63rd Berlin Int. Film Festival, Germany (2013)
  • !f Independent Film Festival, Turkey (2013)
  • Nürnberg Turkey/Germany Film Festival, Germany (2013)
  • Tribeca Film Festival, USA (2013)

Director REHA ERDEM

Reha ErdemBorn in Istanbul, Reha Erdem has graduated from Cinema Department of Paris 8 University. He obtained his M.A. in Plastic Arts at the same university. He shot his first feature-length film Oh Moon in 1989 as a French-Turkish co-production. He shot Run for Money in 1999, Mommy, I’m Scared in 2004, Times and Winds in 2006, My Only Sunshine in 2008 and Kosmos in 2009. His latest two films are Jîn and Singing Women. He wrote all of his films except for Mommy I’m scared, for which he was one of the co-writers. He also has short films and directed a theater play, Maids (Les Bonnes) by Jean Genet. He is now working on two new projects.

Watch Trailer

 

 

 

 

DIRECTOR PRESENT

Written and Directed by
Reha Erdem

Cast:
Deniz Hasgüler, Onur Ünsal, Sabahattin Yakut, Yıldırım Şimşek

2013 / 122 min.
with English subtitles

Watch Trailer

 

Thursday, March 20, 2014 | 7:30 p.m. Remis Auditorium
Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Discussion with the director and festival opening reception
following the screening

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