Winter Sleep

Winter Sleep


Original title: Kis uykusu
Language: German, French, Turkish
Translation: Bulgarian subtitles
Genre: Drama, Romantic
Turkey/France/Germany, 2014, 196’
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Cast: Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbag, Ayberk Pekcan, Serhat Mustafa Kiliç, Nejat Isler
Winner of the Palme d’Or at this year’s Cannes, the new film from Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia) who has gained a reputation as one of the most innovative and accomplished filmmakers of the early twenty-first century, is an immersive, meditative chamber drama about a small-town innkeeper whose cultural pretensions and smug self-satisfaction are fatefully undermined over the course of an eventful winter.


Set in the picturesque and striking landscape of Cappadocia in Central Anatolia, Winter Sleep focuses on a small village, half-empty, in the wintry off-season. In its three-hour-plus running time it follows a kind of local celebrity, Aydin (Haluk Bilginer), an actor who runs a small hotel with his wife, writes a column for the local newspaper, and is toying with the idea of producing a book on Turkish theatre. Like all the villagers, Aydin has time on his hands, but as Ceylan's film progresses, the director carefully strips away the veneer that surrounds this self-satisfied and insular man. Through some magnificent set pieces, beautifully written and performed, we get a close look at Aydin's interactions with his wife, his recently divorced sister, and a family of locals who are tenants of one of his properties.


 

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