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Hope
(Umut)

Screening on Film
Directed by Yilmaz Güney.
Turkey, 1970, 35mm, color, 100 min.
Turkish with English subtitles.

Güney stars as Cabbar, an impoverished cart driver in Adana who dreams ceaselessly and fruitlessly of a better life for his family. Rejecting the invitation of to join some of his fellow workers as they begin to plan for political action, Cabbar seeks improbable escape from his declining fortunes, first in the lottery and then in rumors of buried treasure. The downward trajectory of Güney’s hopeless dreamer is matched by the film’s shift from neo-realist drama to absurdist existential parable and its balance of bitter political despair and black humor. Güney’s first international success (despite its censorship in Turkey), Hope also reaveals Güney’s increasing willingness to experiment, making a striking use of silence and disjunction between image and sound. – DP

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