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6412 930c 500


‘Yol’ (‘The Road’), 1982, dir. Yılmaz Güney

This winner (ex aequo) of the Palme D'Or for Best Picture at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival paints a compelling portrait of modern Turkey as seen through the eyes of five prisoners who are granted temporary leave to see their families. YOL was written and directed by a Kurd, Yilmaz Guney, from a Turkish prison (via his assistant).(FILMAFFINITY)

Directed by: Serif Gören. With Tarik Akan, Serif Sezer, Halil Ergün Turkey 1982, 35mm, color, 111 min.

Despite the fact that it was actually shot by his associate Serif Gören, Yol remains Yilmaz Güney best-known and celebrated film. One of his darkest films, Yol offers an important summation of Güney’s cinema with its tale of a group of released prisoners. Ironically, their release is only temporary and may not even be a blessing, for each return home only to find themselves as imprisoned as when they were in jail. Yol makes clear that life in Turkey under military rule was itself a kind of Kafka-esque prison, with prisoners their own jailers, keeping each other in check through despotic families and constricting social mores - trapped between fascism and what Güney called “the moral debris left behind by feudalism and patriarchy.”(Harvard Film Archive).

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