Islamic faith dictates that prayer uttered five times every day brings man face to face with his five “phases,” or states of mind resulting from the tension of workaday life: fear and desire, love and grudge, faith and pain, screams and sobbing and passion and hate. Since every encounter in Islamic life is said to create new pain—whether that of growing up, growing old or merely getting by—then prayer is the panacea for the inevitable tragedy that is life. In Turkish director Reha Erdem’s sumptuously composed fourth feature, childhood life in a rural village on a mountain overlooking the sea is the incubator for an examination of that pain as experienced through the eyes of three very different children: Ömer, the son of the local imam; his best friend, Yakup, who’s enamored with the village schoolteacher; and Yildiz, who is forced to balance her studies with the household needs of her demanding mother. Their youthful internal struggles play out against a natural backdrop of passing hours, changing seasons and rural tradition, stunningly captured in widescreen by gifted cinematographer Florent Herry. Add to this evocative mix a musical score culled from the works of Arvo Pärt, and Erdem’s award-winning feature (the film earned a top prize at last year’s Istanbul Film Festival) emerges as one of the more thoughtful depictions of childhood and rural life in recent memory. Featuring a winsome cast of nonprofessional children, Times and Winds offers an unforgettable glimpse of rural Islamic life that is at once timeless, out of time and transfixed—like so many works of its kind—by the futile search for lost time.
Born in Istanbul in 1960, Reha Erdem graduated from the Cinema Department of Paris 8 University. He obtained his M.A. in Plastic Arts at the same university. He shot his feature debut Oh Moon in 1989, as a French-Turkish co-production. He wrote and directed Run for Money in 1999, Mommy, I’m Scared in 2004, Times and Winds in 2006 (Toronto, Tribeca, Rotterdam), My Only Sunshine in 2008 (Berlinale, Toronto) and Kosmos in 2009 (Berlinale). His latest film Jin is the Opening Film of the Generation 14plus Competition at Berlinale 2013. He also has short films and directed a theater play, Maids (Les Bonnes) by Jean Genet.
Erdem's use of non-diegetic music is masterful, one of those rare occasions where the sound design wholeheartedly enriches the image. A mesmerizing portrayal of turkish culture in a secluded village - the norms and standards in family life, religion and society. One can learn so much from this, it is as meaningful as it is beautiful. The interaction between nature and the children is enchanting and a key element.
The acclaimed Turkish director’s work ranges from the blackly comic to the eerily poetic.
Celebrated Turkish writer-director Reha Erdem (“Kaç Para Kaç” & ”Korkuyorum Anne”) followed the international success of his previous films with this mesmerising cinematic study of rural daily… read review
It doesn’t matter what culture or society one is reared in, childhood can be a brutal and horrifying experience for 90% of all adults. Oftentimes, a child is faced with feelings of despair, cruelty… read review