GIFFONI50PLUS - 21.31 JULY 2021



Category: Edition 2021

Yusuf and his best friend Memo are pupils at a boarding school for Kurdish boys, secluded in the mountains of Eastern Anatolia. When Memo falls mysteriously ill, Yusuf is forced to struggle through the bureaucratic obstacles put up by the school's repressive authorities to try to help his friend. But by the time the adults in charge finally understand the seriousness of Memo’s condition and try to get him to the hospital, the school has been buried under a sudden, heavy snowfall. With no way out and now desperate to reach help, teachers and pupils engage in a blame game where grudges, feelings of guilt and hidden secrets emerge, as time ticks mercilessly on and threatens to run out.

Original Title Okul Tıraşı
Category Official Competition
Section Generator +16
Tipology Feature Film
Duration 85'
Production Year 2021
Nationality Romania, Turkey
Directed by Ferit Karahan
Screenplay Ferit Karahan, Gülistan Acet
Director of photography Türksoy Gölebeyi
Editor Sercan Sezgin, Hayedeh Safiyari, Ferit Karahan
Production Design Tolunay Türköz
Costume Design Fevziye Aslı Kömür
Sound Srdjan Kurpjel M.P.S.E.
Main cast Samet Yıldız
Ekin Koç
Mahir İpek
Nurullah Alaca
Cansu Fırıncı
Melih Selçuk
Produced by Kanat Doğramacı
Production Asteros Film (Turkey)

Director Ferit Karahan PhotoBagerkayaFerit Karahan

Born in Muş, Turkey on 4 April 1983, he’s living in Istanbul. He started working as first assistant director on feature films. His short films BEFORE THE FLOOD and YUSIV'S DREAM have been screened at numerous festivals and have won awards and honorable mentions. His feature debut THE FALL FROM HEAVEN premiered at the Antalya Film Festival and won Best Film. Also, it won Best first Film Prize at the Ankara Film Festival and was later screened at more than 15 festivals and won more than 10 awards. He made “Eski Köye Yeni Adet” for FOX TV as a TV Movie but FOX decided to release the film in the cinemas where it played for more than 1 month in 340 cinemas around Turkey.

Director’s statement
“I spent six years of my childhood at a boarding primary school. And the reason I wanted to make this film has a lot to do with the fears that remain with me from those boarding school days. Fear is as old as humanity itself; and schools are one of the places that most effectively perpetuate the tradition of spreading fear and using it as a disciplinary tool. At boarding schools in particular, these fears tend to be layered. Of course, not all the teachers I encountered were bad; they, too, were continuing a tradition learned earlier in life: inspiring fear! Strike fear into the hearts of children to make them grow up. Don’t let them object to anything... The control exercised over our young bodies was later applied to our minds. I realize today that to control children is essentially to control the future. Like students, our teachers were also scared and looking for ways to fight off their fears. I will never forget: a female teacher new to our class attempted to disguise her weak and vulnerable personality by picking out and beating the most innocent boy among us. She then announced, “Don’t be fooled by my fragile appearance. I can be as tough as nails when called for.” I now see that she didn’t do it out of pure malice. Her fear came both from being female and from being alone somewhere unfamiliar. Children who are beaten grow up and beat other children. They, too, get a kick out of it. Just like us... And there you have the ancient tradition! Of course, we weren’t exactly saints ourselves. “You’re worse than the teachers” was a regular refrain for most students. We were infused with cruelty before even having the chance to learn what compassion was. It is hard to describe the violence we perpetrated against one another. The only thing we knew was that if you wanted to count for something, you needed to bully people as much as you could. According to Jacques Lacan, the family plays a pivotal role in the transmission of culture and in its formation at an individual level. It is the family that creates what we know as ‘humanity’ and brings the social and cultural order into being. Children become part of this order through the family. But taking away a child’s family ties and attempting to substitute them with other artificial bonds will damage the social order first and foremost. Through Yusuf’s story, the film sets out to examine the prevalence of lies in oppressed societies and the ramifications of even a single trivial lie. It also seeks to question the innocence of an entire society. In other words, BROTHER’S KEEPER is the film of a long tradition; it is a film of fear.”

Asteros Film (Turkey)

International distribution
festival contact
Intramovies (Italy)