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Yol, a film from Turkey - Switzerland Directed by Serif Goren and Yilmaz Guney
1-World Festival of Foreign Films
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Yol
Turkey/Switzerland - 1982
Directed by Serif Goren and Yilmaz Guney


This is simply one of our favorite films.  The bizarre penal system in Turkey allows for certain prisoners to go home on leave, promising to return by a strict deadline.  We follow five such prisoners as they take their long-awaited leave, having been granted seven days.  Their anticipated return to prison dwells in each man's mind as they disperse, rushing to salvage remnants of their shattered lives. 

Yilmaz Guney, himself a political prisoner (? see guest comment below) in Turkey, wrote the screenplay from his jail cell and collaborated with Serif Goren to direct the film.  Guney eventually escaped to Switzerland, where he finished the post production of the film.  The copy that we obtained included a compelling prologue delivered by Yilmaz Guney.

Serif Goren and Yilmaz Guney won the Golden Palm from the Cannes Film Festival for their collaboration on Yol (tied with Missing, 1982).   Yol was also nominated for a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Film (1983).

Runtime:  114 minutes.


Guest Comments

From:  "Serbest Nizarki"

"The truth about Yilmaz Guney is, that he was the first Kurdish director to accurately portrait the lives and struggles of the Kurdish people in southern Turkey
(Northern Kurdistan). He is one of the biggest directors/actors in the film making history and I think that Yilmaz Guney is one of the best director/actor that Turkey has ever come across. I think that a lot of his films leave a impact on many lives. He is respected from many people and he is also a role model to many people world wide, especially me.
I truly respect him and look up to him for the wonderful art he has left behind for his people (kurdish) and for the movie world wide!
The movie ""YOL"" is just one of the best and most memorable films that I have ever seen!
The reason why he went to prison is because of the films he was making. He showed how the kurdish people (Armenians, Assyrians, Syrians) in turkey was and still is suffering and being killed or thrown in prison becuase they spoke/speake about their rights. He belived in freedom and human rights for his people and every one who belived in democracy. Let us raise the flag of freedom and justice! We cannot remain silent in the face of the massacres, which the Kurdish people are suffering. Now is the time for all people to show their solidarity and support the national liberation struggle in Kurdistan. This struggle is not just for Kurdistan; it is for all humanity. No one can be free until we all are free!
And that is what he wants us to see and understand when we see his films (especially Yol), to show us the simple ""truth""..."


From:  "everyman"

"correction","yilmaz guney was not a political prisoner in turkey but a regular criminal one, having murdered an examining magistrate over an honour dispute...."

"correction of my correction" -
"in 1961 guney was indeed a political prisoner in turkey, after being charged with communist propaganda, but the next time he got into prison was for the reason mentioned before - murder - which was in 1974 (guney was known for his outburst of violence)"..."everyman"


From:  "Husniye"

"I would just like to comment on the things someone has mentioned about Yilmaz Guney, saying that he has murdered someone and that is why he went to prison, The reason why he went to prison is because of the films he was making and he has helped some people."


From:  "Wondu-b4s"

"Yilmaz Guney was the first Kurdish director to accurately portrait the lives and struggles of the Kurdish population in southern Turkey. Even though Yol was filmed in the early 80's its representation of the Kurds is still hauntingly accurate to the hardships still faced by the Kurds today."


From: "Anonymous"

"I think that Yilmaz Guney was one of the best actors that Turkey has ever come across, I think that a lot of his movies leave a impact on many live's . I think that he should be congratulated by the Turkish and Kurdish communitys for his excellent role in many movies , he is respected from many people and he is also a role model to many people in Turkey and world wide . I myself would like 2 congratulate him on what he has done for the movie world today. And i think the movie YOL is just one of the best.


From:  "Doug.Truman"

"This is one of the most memorable films that I have ever seen, and -now that I am retired- I would love to have a video or DVD. Unfortunately this amazing 'classic' is out of print - even with the current conflict happening.
One would've thought that a Specialist in world cinema would have this film as a prime mover. What is happening, have you plans to re-release this film?"


From:  "Ali"

"Yilmaz Guney was a political prisoner. Turkey put him in jail because he was Kurdish. And many Turks say that isnt true. But it is true. And Guney was not the only one. Many Kurdish people are suffering in Turkey, also in Iraq, Iran, Syria and Iran. Most western people think that Turkey is a nice country, but it isnt. Why cant the Kurdish people have Kurdistan?
Anwser : Because the oil and gold, and the Turks want a larger country, they dont care about the Kurdisch people."

 

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