Can | Chicago Reader

Can

102 minutes 2012

A prizewinner at Sundance, this Turkish feature feels more like silent-era melodrama than contemporary filmmaking; the story is often implausible and the depiction of economic disparity is deliberately blunt. A poor couple learn that they can't conceive a child, so they secretly buy an infant on the black market. The stress of hiding the truth from family and neighbors drives the husband to commit an act of betrayal that would be almost impossible in real life but makes perfect sense in the context of an allegory about class struggle. Director Rasit Celikezer maintains a realistic visual style, with vivid images of working-class Istanbul, so the broad strokes of the script may strike some as operatic and others as inadvertently campy. In Turkish with subtitles.

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