alr

Elegy
(Agit)

Screening on Film
Directed by Yilmaz Güney.
With Yilmaz Güney, Hayati Hamazaoglu, Bilal Inci.
Turkey, 1971, 35mm, color, 80 min.
Turkish with English subtitles.

Güney stars as one of four smugglers living and working in a rocky, desolate mountainous region. The macho braggadocio and violence of the men (reminiscent of The Wild Bunch) is contrasted with the quiet determination of a woman doctor who ministers to the impoverished villagers as best she can. Although the film is apparently a step back from the political neo-realism of Hope towards the rough lyricism of Bride of the Earth and The Hungry Wolves, Elegy‘s narrative develops a dialectic between the anti-social behavior of the smugglers and the communitarian aspirations of the doctor. Güney skillfully draws on the allegorical potential of the landscape: the characters live under constant threat of avalanche. The film’s evocative cinematography makes use of the muted palette of the rocky landscape in a manner reminiscent of late Hollywood Western, from Ford to Peckinpah. – DP

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Yilmaz Güney: From "Ugly King" to Poet of Despair

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