Journey to the Sun is a story of friendship, courage and a politically naive man’s transformation into someone all too-painfully aware of the social realities in contemporary Turkey.
Two young men from different regions of Turkey are bonded together in their struggle to survive as lower-class citizens in Istanbul. Mehmet, a recent arrival seeking better opportunities in the big city, is befriended by Berzan, a Kurd who sells music cassettes in a push cart. Although from Turkey’s west coast, Mehmet himself could easily be mistaken for a Kurd due to his darker skin.
Mehmet shares his dreams for the future with Arzu, a young woman working in a laundromat, while Berzan longs to return home to his girlfriend in Zorduc, a village near the Iraqi border. One evening during a routine police check on a bus, Mehmet is unjustly arrested. Although released from jail one week later, Mehmet’s life has been marked. Returning to his dormitory, he finds a red X painted on his door. His frightened roommates evict him and he loses his job. With the help of Berzan, Mehmet finds a new job and lodging. His feelings for Arzu deepen, but his dreams of the future are plagued by anxiety. How much time before another red X appears on his door? Pushed into the slums of Istanbul, Mehmet learns more about the harsh realities of life than he wishes to. His loyalty to Berzan will eventually force him to disregard an uncompassionate bureaucracy and embark on a journey eastward across the entire country of Turkey…on a journey to the sun.
After making several award – winning shorts in Turkey, Yeşim Ustaoğlu made her feature film debut with 1994’s THE TRACE (iZ). The film was presented at numerous international festivals, including Moscow and Gotenburg.
Yeşim Ustaoğlu received international recognition for her 1999 film, JOURNEY TO THE SUN (GÜNEŞE YOLCULUK). In competition at the Berlin Film Festival, JOURNEY TO THE SUN received the Blue Angel Award (Best European Film) and the Peace Prize. The moving story of a courageouas friendship undaunted by political cruelty, JOURNEY TO THE SUN swept the İstanbul Film Festival by winning Best Film, Best Director, the FIBRESCI Prize and the Audience Award.
Her third film, WAITING FOR THE CLOUDS, the story of a woman forced to live for 50 years with the haunting secrets of a hidden identity, was awarded NHK Sundance – International Film-maker’s award. Film traveled many festival and established a strong reputation for the director. Ustaoğlu’s fourth film, PANDORA’S… read more