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The Friend
(Arkadas)

Screening on Film
Directed by Yilmaz Güney.
With Kerim Afsar, Yilmaz Güney, Melike Demirag.
Turkey, 1974, 35mm, color, 100 min.
Turkish with English subtitles.

The Friend is the one of Güney’s films that most resembles a European art film. For one thing, Güney focuses on alienation among the Turkish middle classes, although he does it by contrasting their empty lives with the struggles of the peasantry. At a seaside resort, a wealthy aristocrat originally from an impoverished small town finds himself reunited with a childhood friend, played by Güney. The director, who constructs an Antonionian malaise out of the glassy surfaces of the resort’s commercial district and the arid domestic interiors of the family’s summer home. The film is often compared to Teorema, with The Friend detailing the disturbance inside the family created by the friend’s visit. The film also marks the last time Güney would appear onscreen as an actor. – DP

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