|Ulvi Doğan,r 60s Turkish Cinema Actress.|
Dry Summer (1964)
d. Metsin Erksan
Criterion Collection #688
Criterion Collection/World Cinema Foundation DVD released December 10th, 2013.
This movie has 17 likes on Facebook via the Criterion Collection? According to the listing, Dry Summer won the "Golden Berar" award at something called the "Berlin Film Festival" which strikes me as being the rough equivalent of the Toronto Film Festival in terms of market making impact. I frankly question the Audience for this picture, and that is speaking as someone who watched it himself.
That being said, I can see why the Criterion Collection/World Cinema Foundation calls Dry Summer a "benchmark" of Turkish cinema even though I have only seen one other Turkish film, also released by the World Cinema Foundation (and streamed on Hulu Plus on the Criterion Collection channel though NOT an official Criterion Collection release.)
That other film, The Law of the Border was more or less a Cowboys and Indians story. This film is more like a Turkish version of a Balzac or Hugo novel- 19th century French realism. The story revolves around two brothers and the wife of one of the brothers (the younger.) The older brother is the villain of the piece. The older brother hatches a plan to dam up the spring on their property which angers the local villagers at the bottom of the hill. Litigation ensues, and then murder. The younger brother goes to prison after being convicted of the equivalent of manslaughter and then the older brother convinces the wife that the younger brother was killed in prison. Younger brother shows up, murders older brother.
I am summarizing the plot because I'm sure nobody reading this gives a shit or will watch Dry Summer. The theme of scarce resources and changes among traditional cultures appears to run consistently through the first batch of World Cinema Foundation films being released by the Criterion Collection:
Redes: Mexican film about the plight of fishermen in Mexico.
A River Called Titas: Bangladeshi film about the plight of fishermen in Bangladesh.
Dry Summer: Turkish film about the conflict over water in Turkey.
The Law of The Border: Turkish film about plight of tribesmen in south east Turkey.
That is what you call an artistic theme. The World Cinema Foundation is clearly concerned with realistic portrayals of traditional cultures in flux. The two remaining films, The Housemaid from Korea and Trances from Morocco break the theme but there you have it.