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The Wild Pear Tree
(Ahlat Agaci)

Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Winter Sleep, Distant) is renowned for his ability to create films which marry intellectual thought with an emotional core and are often full of sly humour and deep pathos.

"...so much more than a simple family drama."

Sinan (Aydin Dogu Demirkol), a young writer, is about to graduate from college but is anxiously looking for a way out of the future that seems to be mapped out for him to follow in his father’s footsteps and become a school teacher. Arriving home in Çanakkale for a visit, he finds his parents are drowning in debt due to a gambling obsession his father Idris (Murat Cemcir) never fully admits to. His mother, Asuman (Bennu Yildirimlar) meanwhile, drowns her bitterness in the endless telenovelas provided by Turkish TV channels. Desperate to publish his first novel, Sinan’s quest to find an interested publisher is quickly thwarted and his mood grows darker. Unlike his son, despite his troubles, Idris is always charming and sunny, a smile on his face and a joke on his lips; but this cheerful façade clearly hides the disappointments of a wasted life.

The Wild Pear Tree is so much more than a simple family drama – conversations are infused with inspiration from Chekhov and Dostoyevsky and the story’s locations are rich with historical references as well. This is cinema which requires commitment – it’s far from brief – but if you give your time to Ceylan’s masterful storytelling, he will reward you with an experience which is thought-provoking and rewarding.