10th New York Turkish Film Festival - Bereketli Topraklar Uzerinde / On Fertile Lands


Date From October 03, 2008 7:30 PM
Until October 03, 2008 9:30 PM

Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Ave. (at 2nd St.)
New York, NY 10003 [map it!]

Info Line (212) 229-1207
Website http://www.newyorkturkishfil...

Contact Ayca User
New York, NY


Sales have ended for this event. Tickets may still be available at the door.

Tickets are available for sale at the door for $12 on a first-come-first-served basis. Ticket Desk opens 45min. prior to the screening.


During the turbulent years of 1960s and 1970s, the plight of the ordinary people of ukurova, a cotton-producing region in southern Turkey, was told extensively in the stories and novels of authors such as Orhan Kemal and Yaar Kemal, and brought to the screen by filmmakers such as Erden Kral and Ylmaz Gney. After being banned during the martial law period of the 1980 military coup and having its last remaining copies stolen, veteran filmmaker Erden Krals Bereketli Topraklar zerinde (On Fertile Lands) is back on the screen following a 28-year absence to highlight, once again, the social gaps and conflicts between different classes within the Turkish society. In 2008, the restored copy of the film was screened in a packed theater during the 27th International Istanbul Film Festival and later embraced by a new generation of movie goers at in the movie theaters of Istanbul, Ankara, Adana and Izmir. On Fertile Lands was surrounded by much controversy. The films negative had been stolen from a warehouse and found in a studio in Switzerland years later. When the Antalya Golden Orange Film Festivals Best Film Award of 1981 was later withdrawn due to the military regimes ban, Erden Kral protested the decision by refusing to receive his Best Director award. The film, based on Orhan Kemals novel of the same title and featuring great performances by an ensemble cast, tells the story of three friends who move from their village to ukurova, with hopes of finding well-paying jobs. Together they work in factories, construction sites and fields under very difficult conditions. However, life has different paths set out for each of them, none of which fortunate.


1981 Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival (Turkey): Best Director, Best Cinematography, Best Supporting Actor (Yaman Okay)
1981 Strasbourg Film Festival (France): Grand Prize
1980 Nantes Film Festival (France): Jury Special Prize


...It would be unfair to finish this piece without emphasizing the fact that Erden Kral does not attempt to hide the inspiration his directing received from the various schools that had made the issue of labor their main theme. The apparent Chaplin influence in Erkan Ycels performance and the cotton gin scenes, the traces of neo-realism in the wide angle shots of the streets and fields, and a different editing approach which reminds us of the Soviet cinema in the scene where Ali loses his arm as a result of a work accident all show us that Kral went through a lot of trouble to render Orhan Kemals novel visually. Furthermore, by bringing together these creative resources in a level of maturity that cannot be coincidental, Kral does succeed in creating his own original style which is as unique and capable of getting to the root of workers' stories as the sources that inspired him.

Nadir perli. On Fertile Lands: The Oppressed vs. the Oppressed. Altyaz. Issue 74. June 2008.

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