Search - Journey to the Sun on DVD

Journey to the Sun
Journey to the Sun
Actors: Nazmî Kirik, Newroz Baz, Mizgin Kapazan, Ara Güler, Lucia Marano
Director: Yesim Ustaoglu
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
NR     2004     1hr 44min

An unlikely friendship forms the basis of this powerful story of loyalty and courage. Mehmet, a cheerful young man from western Turkey, and Berzan, a Kurdish rebel in the underground, become fast friends while living in Is...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Nazmî Kirik, Newroz Baz, Mizgin Kapazan, Ara Güler, Lucia Marano
Director: Yesim Ustaoglu
Creators: Jacek Petrycki, Yesim Ustaoglu, Nicolas Gaster, Behrooz Hashemian, Ezel Akay, Phil van der Linden, Pit Riethmüller
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
Studio: Facets
Format: DVD - Color,Full Screen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 09/28/2004
Original Release Date: 02/09/2001
Theatrical Release Date: 02/09/2001
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 44min
Screens: Color,Full Screen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 1
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: Dutch, Kurdish, Turkish
Subtitles: English

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Movie Reviews

Young man with a coffin . . .
Ronald Scheer | Los Angeles | 03/09/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This fine, low-budget film shot in Istanbul and rural Turkey has the feel of a documentary, even as it tells a very personal story about a young man on his own in the city. We follow the events in his life as he befriends a Kurd and discovers, more by accident than design, some of the realities of being an ethnic and political outcast. Mistakenly arrested as a terrorist, he is battered by the police, then thrown out of his bachelors' living quarters when he is released, and loses his job with the Water Department.

A girlfriend remains faithful to him throughout, until circumstances finally set him on a cross-country course with a dead man in a coffin. After footage of the crowded streets of Istanbul, the film opens up into a kind of road movie across all sorts of terrain, but never getting far from the tense and perilous political realities of modern-day Turkey. This is a richly detailed and at times touching film that opens a window onto a part of the world seldom seen in the West. Wonderful performances, absorbing story with unexpected turns, visually complex cinematography, haunting soundtrack."
Soundtrack Alone Rates 5 stars.
dellyjoe | 09/18/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Very edifying story of political turmoil involving the Kurds. Get a look at street life in Istanbul. Gives insight into why the prosperity of strong market economies is so envied. Basically a story of a hapless young man who makes his living finding broken water pipes using a primitive stethoscope. He is mistakenly arrested and identified as a Kurdish rebel. He loses his job and is befriended by a laundress and an actual rebel who is later killed. The youth determines to return his friend's body to his Kurdish province birthplace. This begins a road trip through desolate Turkish countryside. The movie's strength is the examination of the details of ordinary lives. What it lacks in crisp lighting is compensated by excellent music throughout."
A Turkish movie that makes you appreciate being an American
R. Crane | Washington, DC United States | 01/19/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a film about two young men, one Turkish, the other Kurd. Mehmet, the Turk, is a naïve fellow newly arrived from a rural village, living in the slums of Istanbul, and employed by the Water Department to find leaking pipes. The Kurd, Berzan, is a member of a rebel group, intent upon revenge against the Government for the death of his father. By chance the two link up and become friends.

During this period, the Government and the Army made frequent inspections of all transportation and "suspicious" people. On one of these inspections, Mehmet is unfairly arrested and accused of possessing a gun. The film is also about racial discrimnation-- it does not help Mehmet's case that he is dark-skinned and looks Kurdish. When Mehmet is eventually released, he is thrown out of his living quarters and his job. Unlike his Turkish friends who turn their backs on him, fearing government reprisals by association with him, Berzan helps him get employment and a place to live. Unfortunately, Berzan's activities lead to his untimely death, and the film is about Mehmet's journey to return his friend's corpse to his Kurdish village. The journey is also a metaphor for Mehmet's growth into a man and the loss of his naiveté.

It is a beautiful little movie created on a minimal budget that won a multitude of awards, though was greeted hostilely by Turkish critics because of the political sensitivity of its subject matter. The DVD has a printed interview with the Director included in the package describing how the movie was made without professional actors, etc.

What the film leaves behind is an immense appreciation for the American system of justice and protection of an individual's rights.