Journey to the Sun

Every shot counts in this drama set initially in Istanbul, where, writer-director Yesim Ustaoglu has said, “all the problems of Turkey exist in microcosm.” A night of danger solidifies a friendship between two men from opposite ends of the country: Berzan, a street vendor, is from a Kurdish village near the Iraqi border, and Mehmet, who works for the Istanbul water department, is from a tiny town in the west. Ustaoglu, once an architect, finds the incidental beauty in the industrial; with director of photography Jacek Petrycki, she composes the scenes of the characters at work and in transit as elegantly and emotively as she frames a sunset or the face of love. When a violent experience cruelly shifts Mehmet's priorities, Ustaoglu puts his personal relationships in perspective without eclipsing their importance—or perhaps she's put political violence in perspective without eclipsing its impact. With Newroz Baz, Nazmi Quirix, and Mizgin Kapazan. 105 min.

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