• The Friend (1975)

I wrote several posts about the Yilmaz Güney series that just wrapped up at Doc Films, in part because it was such an eye-opening experience for me. Save for a handful of festival titles and the films of Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Distant, Climates, etc.), I’d spent zero time with Turkish cinema before this. The series provided a great overview, as Güney made movies both within the Turkish studio system and as an independent. His amazing life story spans the entire class system of postwar Turkey, as he went from an impoverished Kurdish background to mainstream celebrity to political martyrdom (and ultimately exile) between the years of 1937 and 1982. In the best films of the series—Hope, The Friend, Yol—Güney conveyed this complex experience artfully and stirringly.