Turkish film “Güneşi Gördüm” (I Saw the Sun), written and directed by singer Mahsun Kırmızıgül, will represent Turkey in next year’s Academy Awards.
The film was chosen by a large majority of a 13-person selective committee among the ones released between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30, 2009. It will be sent to the Academy as the candidate for nomination in the category of “Best Foreign Film.” Some of other films included Tomris Giritlioğlu’s “Güz Sancısı” (Autumn Pain), Çağan Irmak’s “Issız Adam” (Desert Man), Zeki Demirkubuz’s “Kıskamak” (Being Jealous), Özcan Alper’s “Sonbahar” (Autumn) and Yeşim Ustaoğlu’s “Pandora’nın Kutusu” (Pandora’s Box).
Kırmızıgül, who is very pleased of his film’s success, said: “I thank millions of people who watched the film. It is very nice to be a nominee for the Oscar, but we have lots of things to do. This is just the beginning. We are aware of lobbies for Oscar nominations. This film tells the story of everyone in Turkey. This film belongs to each of us.”
But Turkish film critics are divided about the decision. While Atilla Dorsay said it is a good decision, another critic Murat Özer said it was a surprising choice. “I think it has no chance,” he said.
Story of the film
The film’s theme is around Altun family. Haydar and Isa Altun arrive with their respective families in Istanbul, where they decide to stay. But Davut Altun, his wife and children set their sights further afield and travel on to Norway.
Spanning a period of 25 years, the film recounts the experiences of the three families as they struggle to find their feet in alien surroundings. It is a film that condemns all of discrimination or otherization and argues that war, fighting and contempt for anyone unlike oneself are the very problem itself.