Günese Yolculuk



Two young men from different regions of Turkey - Mehmet from the West, Berzan from the East - are bonded together in their struggle to survive as lower-class citizens in Istanbul.

Mehmet, a recent arrival seeking better opportunities in the big city, is befriended by Berzan, a Kurd who sells music cassettes from a push cart. Although from Turkey's west coast, Mehmet himself could easily be mistaken for a Kurd due to his darker skin. Mehmet shares his dreams for the future with Arzu, a young woman working in a laundromat, while Berzan longs to return home to his girlfriend in Zorduc, a village near the Iraqi border. One evening during a routine police check on a public bus, Mehmet is unjustly arrested. Released from jail one week later, his life is nevertheless marked. Returning to his dormitory, he finds a red X painted on his door. His frightened roomates evict him and he loses his job.

With the help of Berzan, Mehmet finds a new job and lodging. His feelings for Arzu deepen, but his dreams of the future are plagued by anxiety. How much time before another red X appears on his door? Why should having dark skin add to his problems? In the slums of Istanbul, Mehmet learns more about the harsh realities of life than he wishes to. His loyalty to Berzan eventually compels him to disre-gard an uncompassionate bureaucracy and embark on a journey eastward across the entire country of Turkey a journey to the sun.

Director's Biography

Yesim Ustaoglu made her feature film debut with 1994's THE TRACE (17). The film was honored as the Best Turkish Film at the Istanbul Film Festival, and was also presented at numerous international venues, including New York and Goteborg. She had previously made several award-winning short films, such as 1992's HOTEL. Ustaoglu has written articles for various art and cinema magazines, and holds a degree in architecture.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Yesim Ustaoglu

Written by: Yesim Ustaoglu

Produced by: Behrooz Hashemian

Cinematography: Jacek Petrycki

Editing: Nicolas Gaster

Production Design: Natali Yeres

Original Score: Vlatko Stefanovski

Main Cast: Newroz Baz, Nazmi Qirix, Mizgin Kapazan, Nigar Aktar

Nominations and Awards

  • European Cinematographer – Prix Carlo Di Palma 1999
  • EFA Feature Film Selection 1999