Kumun Tadı

Sea Burners | Kumun Tadi | Melisa Onel | Boston Turkish Film Festival

Hamit drives back and forth between Istanbul’s slums and a destitute border village close to the city. He works for Ali, a charcoal dealer-cum-human trafficker, carrying charcoal one way and illegal immigrants the other. The young and timid Mehmet helps them both out and often finds himself caught in the middle of their power struggles. Hamit feels stuck in the desolate village. Being subordinate to Ali and sharing a rundown room with Mehmet are not what he expected of life. He tried to escape once, but failed to achieve the ‘dream life’ and this only intensifies his frustration. His only comfort is an older woman, Denise, a foreign botanist who works at the local research center. They meet secretly in a cottage by the sea and make love to the crashing of the waves. Denise is suspicious of Hamit but asks no questions, and Hamit doesn’t tell much anyway. But the sea is unforgiving and pressure builds as a new group of refugees arrive and are unable to leave the village. Their relationship is buffeted like plants in the harsh coastal wind. And then, one a stormy night, Hamit decides to change his destiny.

Selected Festivals and Awards

  • Berlinale Forum, Germany (2014)
  • Meetings on the Bridge, Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey (2014)
  • CineLink, Sarajevo Film Festival, Bosnia and Herzegovina (2014)
  • Istanbul International Film Festival, Turkey (2014)


Melisa OnelMelisa Önel completed her Master's degree in Film Studies at Istanbul Bilgi University after studying International Relations at Tufts University. A filmmaker and photographer, Melisa Önel is a member of the photographers' initiative, RecCollective. In the past two years, her work has been shown at many international exhibitions. Her first short film, Omega Fox (2007), was selected for the Hisar Short Film Festival, a collection of the 10 best short films of the year in Turkey. Omega Fox was also a finalist at the 2008 Boston Turkish Festival Documentary & Short Film Competition. Her medium-length documentary, Me and Nuri Bala (2009) won Best First Documentary Award at the 46th Antalya Film Festival. Seaburners is her debut feature film.

8:00 pm
Remis Auditorium

Museum of Fine Arts
465 Huntington Avenue, Boston


Seaburners | Kumun Tadi | Melisa Onel | Boston Turkish Film Festival

Directed by
Melisa Önel


Mira Furlan, Timuçin Esen,
Ahmet Rıfat Şungar, Mustafa Uzunyılmaz

2014 / 89 min.
with English subtitles

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