Film program Supporting event accompanying the special exhibition Call me ISTANBUL ist mein Name

The film program for the exhibition Call me ISTANBUL ist mein Name looks at contemporary cinema culture in Turkey, which is developing between popular entertainment, prize-winning writer-director films, and critical, sociopolitical dialogue. Although film production has decreased greatly in quantity since the 1970s, Turkey’s local film industry has been successful in holding its own against blockbusters from the U.S., especially in recent years. The film »Abuzer Kadayif« by Tunç Basaran, for example, was the top box office hit for 2000. The ZKM will also dedicate a retrospective to the Cannes prize winner, writer-filmmaker and producer Nuri Bilge Ceylan. Additionally, films and documentaries from young Germans of Turkish origin, which with their entirely personal gaze portray life in Istanbul and their own lives between cultures, will round out the program.
The city of Istanbul is the central reference point of the film program: Istanbul, the city in which »the stones and earth are made of gold,« as many immigrants say when referring to the site of their projected hopes. The theme of migration is therefore a further concentration in the program, a phenomenon that is related directly to the myth and likewise the reality of the city of Istanbul.

Admission: 4.50 / 2.50 EUR
Admission is included with the purchase of a day pass for the special exhibition Call me ISTANBUL ist mein Name and for the symposium (23 April).


Friday 23 April, 10 p.m.
As part of the symposium Ex oriente Lux

Bıyık (The moustache)
Lale Nalbantoglu, Germany/Turkey 2004, 15 min

In a world where everyone has a moustache, you become an outsider if you lose yours. Yet chance can also turn the loser just as quickly into a star.

Filler ve Cimen (Elephants and grass)
Dervis Zaim, Turkey 2001, 115 min, Turkish with German subtitles

Elephants and Grass tells the story of the successful marathon runner Havva who unsuspectingly becomes involved in a major political scandal. In a probing plot, the director refers to actual events from 1996. After a traffic accident, the interrelations between politics and the mafia are coincidentally brought to the surface.
Association of film critics – SIYAD 2002: Best film; best director; best screenplay; best actress


Sunday 17 May, 5 p.m.

Abuzer Kadayif (Abuzer Baklava)
Tunç Basaran, Turkey 2000, 90 min, Turkish with German subtitles

The professor Ersin Balkan begins a successful career as a folk singer using the invented identity of Abuzer Baklava. As a music star and idol he soon becomes the object of manipulation by politics and the mafia, both threatening to uncover his true identity. The action-packed comedy was a box office hit in Turkey in 2000. It takes a critical look at the phenomenon of the »fun« society.
Most successful film in Turkey 2000

Retrospective Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Saturday 22 May, 5 p.m. and 7 p.m.

Kasaba (The small town)
NB Ceylan, Turkey 1997, 82 min, Turkish with German subtitles

In four parts, parallel to the four seasons, the film describes the relationships within a Turkish family in a small town from the perspective of two children: their discoveries, their dreams and their difficulty in coming to terms with the adult world.
Winner of the Caligari prize at the Berlinale 1997

Uzak (Distance)
NB Ceylan, Turkey 2003, 110 min, Turkish with English subtitles

The photographer Mahmut lives an isolated existence. He is confronted with the naïveté and curiosity of his cousin Yusuf who travels from their home village to Istanbul and stays with him while looking for work on a ship. A magnificent film about urban loneliness.
Among other awards, best film and best actor in Cannes 2003.

Sunday 23 May, 5 p.m.

Koza (The cocoon)
NB Ceylan, Turkey 1995, 20 min, Turkish with German subtitles, ages 12+

An elderly couple, both well over seventy, meet after years of conscious separation to make up. But this isn’t what happens.
Competition entry Cannes 1995

Mayis Sikintisis (Distress in May)
NB Ceylan, Turkey 1999, 131 min, Turkish with German subtitles, ages 12+

This particular May seems warmer and gentler than before and the inhabitants of the little town are happy and content. But Muzaffer, who has returned home to shoot a film, disturbs the peace.
18 international film prizes

Wednesday 26 May, 7:30 p.m.

Ümit Ünal, Turkey 2000, 90 min, Turkish with English subtitles, ages 16 +

The police are trying to find out who committed a murder in a district in Istanbul. Several neighborhood residents have been interrogated, one after the other, in room 9 of the police station. The recorded protocol of the interrogations gradually brings to light what happened, revealing as well the relationships within the neighborhood.
Best film Istanbul Film Festival 2003



Wednesday 2 June, 7:30 p.m.

Documentary film program 1:

Ein Boot für Istanbul (A Boat for Istanbul)
Damien Peyret, France 2001, 13 min

A poetic short film about the daily ferry traffic across the Bosporus. Production for Arte TV

Ara Güler - der Fotograf Istanbuls (The photographer of Istanbul)
Özdil Savasci and Erdal Buldun, Turkey 1998, 58 min

Ara Güler, born in 1928, is among the most renowned photographers in the world. As a member of the famous MAGNUM agency in Paris, he worked for “Time Life” and “Paris Match.” The film is a portrait of the individualistic personality of the photographer and at the same time a portrait of his home town Istanbul, which he has photographed for over five decades.
Special Jury Prize at the Ankara Film Festival 1999

Wir haben vergessen zurückzukehren (We forgot to go back)
Fatih Akin, Germany 2000, 59 min, ages 12+

The prize-winning director Fatih Akin follows the various experiences of the second and third generation Turkish “guest workers” on their journey from Hamburg to Istanbul and then further to the family village. A sensitive film about the fate of “being German-Turkish.”
Part of the series “Denk ich an Deutschland” (I think about Germany)

Wednesday 16 June, 7:30 p.m.

Die Liebenden vom Hotel Osman (The lovers from Hotel Osman)
Idil Üner, Germany 2002, 12 min
Ahmet and Ili love each other and Istanbul. They want to spend the night with a view of the Bosporus. But they don’t have the necessary “marriage license” for the hotel room. Gold Prize, German short film 2001

Lola und Bilidikid
Kutlug Ataman, Germany 1998, 91 min
The film by the artist Kutlug Ataman, who is originally from Istanbul, portrays Berlin’s Turkish gay and transvestite scene thus creating a connection to the themes of the exhibition. The melodrama of Lola and Billi deals with homophobia, physical violence against homosexuals, as well as family relationships spanning from morality to jealousy. Special Teddy Award, Berlinale 1999

Wednesday, 30 June, 7:30 p.m.

Documentary film program 2:

Gecekondu (Built overnight)
Ebru Karaca and Anja Hansmann, Germany 2003, 41 min

Gecekondu has been an Istanbul phenomenon since the 1950s: migrants from other parts of the country arrive and build shelters overnight from the simplest materials. These dwellings quickly develop into entire neighborhoods. The settlements exist somewhere between state toleration and illegality. Their continued existence is assured only by the evolved structures of self organization.
Special Prize for political education, Rheinland-Pfalz 2003

Cikmaz (cul-de-sac)
Pinar Okan, Turkey 2003, 25 min

A portrait of a street in the formerly multi-ethnic neighborhood Samatya in Istanbul: The Greek and Armenian populations left after the pogroms of 1955. The film outlines the alienation and isolation that has arisen from the conflict between the old, established non-Muslim residents and the newcomers from other parts of the country.
Special Jury Prize, Film Festival Nürnberg 2004

Mübadele (Exiled for peace)
Osman Okkan and Simone Sitte, Germany 2003, 55 min

After World War I, the Greek population in Turkey and the Turks in Greece had to leave their homelands in the context of a “population exchange.” It was the first internationally organized forced resettlement in human history. The film accompanies contemporary witnesses as they trace their tracks, with Mikis Theodorakis and Yasar Kemal, among others.
Öngören Prize for democracy and human rights 2003



Wednesday 14 July, 7:30 p.m.

Boran (The lost)
Hüseyin Karabey, Turkey 1999, 30 min

In the mid-1990s, for several years there were regular protests by the so-called “Saturday mothers” in Istanbul making charges for the state organized disappearance of their sons; political, mainly Kurdish, rebels. This is an unconventional film, moving between staging and documentation.
Film prizes in Antalya, Tel Aviv, Chile, and Italy

Abschied vom falschen Paradies (Departure from false paradise)
Tevfik Baser, Germany 1999, 96 min

After murdering her violent husband, a Turkish woman learns in German prison to have self confidence when faced with her Turkish relatives and how to develop her own path. However, when she leaves Germany after serving her time and has to move to Turkey, her vengeance seeking brother-in-law and Turkish justice are waiting for her.
Evangelical Film Critic’s Prize

* Program subject to changes. Please refer to the daily announcements, or the ZKM website for the most up-to-date information on current events.