Pandora’s Box | Pandora'nın Kutusu

Turkey/France/Germany 2008, Feature film, 114’ | Director Yeşim Ustaoğlu | Screenplay Selma Kaygusuz, Yeşim Ustaoğlu | DoP Jaques Besse | Editor Frank Nakache | Sound Bernd von Bassewitz, Philippe Bluard | Music Jan-Pierre Mas | Cast Tsilla Chelton, Onur Ünsal, Derya Alabora | Production Ustaoğlu Film Film Yapım, Silkroad Production, Les Petites Lumières, Stromboli Pictures, The Match Factory | Distribution Kairos Film

»Two entities meet up on equal terms without memory, but also without fear of contact; a utopia, briefly lived out against picturesque mountain landscape.« Der Tagesspiegel, Berlin

Nusret has spent her entire life in the same village on the Black Sea coast, her three adult children having long since moved to Istanbul. One day, they receive the news that her mother has disappeared without trace. After they have worked out that she is suffering from Alzheimer's, each family member is now confronted with a time of upheaval and questions about their own life. Nesrin, trapped in her middle-class existence, cannot let go of her adolescent son Murat who runs away from home anyway. Güzin is a successful businesswoman but stuck in an unhappy relationship with a married man. Mehmet, a drop-out leading an aimless life with too much alcohol and marijuana, is despised by his sisters, on whom he sponges.

All of them have little time for their mother. Only her grandson, Murat, manages to gain some kind of empathy with his grandmother. »Slowly but surely,« says the director, »idealism is replaced by conformism, « as her film gets to the core of a problem facing modern societies.

Yeşim Ustaoğlu was born 1962 in Sarıkamıs ̧, Eastern Turkey, and spent a part of her childhood near Georgia on the Black Sea before her family moved to Istanbul. There Ms Ustaog ̆lu first studied architecture and worked as an architect before she started filming. Her feature film Günes ̧e Yolculuk (Journey to the Sun) has won over 20 international awards – including the European Peace Prize. In 2004, her feature film Bulutları Beklerken (Waiting for the Clouds) was premiered at the Istanbul Film Festival, having picked up the Sundance Filmmakers Award for Best European Screenplay in 2003. She scored her biggest success in 2008 with Pandora'nın Kutusu which was honoured twice at the San Sebastián Film Festival.

Yeşim Ustaoğlu
Feature film
Focus: Turkey