The Nightly Song of the Travellers
Year:  2006
Running Time:  85 minutes
Country:  Iran/France/Turkey
Language:  Turkish with English subtitles
Genre:  Fiction
Cast:  Engin Gunay, Kuzey Ozdogan, Ulku Ulker, Mehman Yıldırım, Lokman Osmangil, Cemaleddin GŁven
Showtime:   Sunday, March 25, 2007 @ 05:35 PM
Director:  Chapour Haghighat

  After being released from prison, Yolan, a tailor from Tabriz of Turkish extraction, escapes from Iran to Turkey in order to find his ancestorsí village. He is accompanied by Ozal, a young boy he had given a home to.

This film relates the wandering of these two characters through the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. Their quest quickly turns disappointing: their village seems to have vanished without a trace and they give themselves up to chance. They wander from village to village, lost, without knowing exactly what they are looking for. On their way, they meet all sort of characters, serious or comical ones, sharing with them a few moments before going further. After a long journey, they come across a seer and leave it to her to enlighten them on their destiny. A road in the dark leads them to the seaside. There, on a beach, some Armenians are dancing to the sound of bagpipes. A boat is waiting. Attracted by the music, Yolan starts dancing, frantically.

Director's Statement:

Yolan, a tailor from Tabriz (Iran) of Turkish extraction, escapes to Turkey, accompanied by a child, in order to find his ancestorís village. Very quickly, his search proves fruitless. No more village, no more ancestors. They keep wandering through the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. Yolan is a dreamy character, almost transparent. He is looking for an imaginary world, as a kind of Don Quichotte, lost in the landscape. He behaves like a voyeur, pushing closed doors, peeping through windows... Silent, but eager to discover some secrets. He is a kind of anti-hero, feeling out of place everywhere. The world around him is at the same time commonplace and fantastic. This absurd and cruel world does not offer a well marked out path. Even the seer he turns to leaves it up to chance. Yolen's story is the absurdity and disarray of his life.

In fact, in this film, my characters donít appear as problematic heroes, with a story dominated by a plot. Through them, we rather discover the life of other people. A world filled with ordinary bustle. Destinies cross each other. There is no more one story but a multitude of stories. The stories of others, of their cares, greed, hopes, and folly. Each life is a long adventure. We can see only snatches of them, always incomplete, short-lived pieces. Deep-rooted local life, structured by tradition and faith, contrasts with the existence of these two characters, uprooted and lost. Tradition faces adventure, faith is opposed to unbelief and despair. Stability and stagnation counter-mobility and fragility of being. A settled way of life versus nomadism. Whose life? Who does live? All end up in front of the absolute, at the seaside, where some Armenians, themselves stray and nomadic, are dancing. Yolan joins them.

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