Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
Directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Cornerhouse, 26 March 2012
This is a film whose meandering, digressive style creates a sense of abundant life, teeming being.
We are in the closing stages of a police investigation: a man has confessed – whether correctly or not – to murder and now it’s a matter of locating the body of the victim. In the dark of the night, the search proves to be none too successful and so prosecutor, police and perpetrator repair to a nearby village for refreshments and rest.
What s the film about? Well, there’s the portrait of modernTurkey, a country at once Asian and aspirant European. The contrast between city and village is made plain. There is the concern with truth – the facts of the case – and in the end a refusal to look too deeply. Put it down to a dizzying nausea brought on by a night of sifting through the stuff of others’ souls. Ultimately, that’s what the film leaves you with: a compassionate letting be.