Saturday, September 19, 2009

Men on the Bridge

Men on the Bridge provides a glimpse into contemporary Turkey through three story lines. There is Umut (Umut Ilker), a taxi driver, and his wife, who want more, but are constrained by their finances. There is Fikret (Fikret Portakal), a teenager who sells flowers on the road to the Bosphorus Bridge, and who lacks the education and drive to do anything else. Finally, there is Murat (Murat Tokgöz), a traffic cop who unsuccessfully dates on the internet and longs for the life of his small hometown.

There's no plot to Men on the Bridge, per se, and the three stories never intersect in any significant way. It's just a look into the day-to-day lives of people trying to make a life in Istanbul. Money woes, education, and isolation and loneliness figure as common themes, ones not uncommon to a more universal urban experience. Director Asli Özge hints at the social and political forces shaping Turkey today, but doesn't dwell on it, instead taking a more personal focus. Originally intending to make a straight documentary, she has instead created a fictional look at three sets of real lives that capture the void between the promise and the reality of the bright city lights.


My experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival. Note this blog is not affiliated with the Toronto International Film Festival Group or the festival itself.
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