A dynamic shooting-style, pitch-perfect written street lingo and a transfixing dog-eat-dog story form the essence of this exciting first feature about two friends who get into deep trouble in Istanbul’s chaotic underground scene. At times funny, at times tragic, but foremostly, jolting in its authenticity.
Restless and young, best buddies Selim and Çaça live a meagre existence on the outskirts of Istanbul. Their neighbourhood’s view of the city’s gigantic business towers accelerates their ambitions. By day they grow pigeons on the roof, by night they drive their pimped-up car, ‘My Orange Angel’, and roam the mean streets with their entourage. The two buddies want to open up their own parking-lot business near a gigantic mall, and they just might get lucky, since they’re supported by the local mafia boss. But everyone wants a slice of the cake and the mall’s dodgy security contractor, Sait, is not so willing to let his ‘turf’ slide to these up-and-coming lads. Plus, the cops are on the boys’ tail to gather evidence against the mafia’s now ‘legalized’ activities. It isn’t long before Selim and Çaça’s dreams will be shattered when they find themselves in water over their heads. This sizzling début feature from Mehmet Bahadir Er and Maryna Gorbach, shot in a verité style, captures a verisimilitude representative of the many unemployed young Turkish men who just want to make a better life for themselves. Submerged in poverty and the prevailing macho culture, it is no surprise that they become victims of violence. Bustling with energy with its in-yer-face attitude, Black Dogs Barking proudly takes over On Board’s (1988) legacy of the working class anti-heroes. – International Film Festival Rotterdam