The Turkish director Pelin Esmer doesn’t think that the fact that she’s a woman makes her films different, nor the fact that she’s Turkish: “I don’t think that cinema has a sex or nationality.”
In the only film from her country that is being screened this year in the Official Section, Esmer tells the story of a collector whose world begins to fall apart when they try to throw him out of his house, and portrays the relationship he establishes with his illiterate caretaker, who can’t see beyond a few blocks from his building. When she wrote the script, the director wanted to understand this obstinate collector, who is her uncle in real life.
Dialogues and conversations carry on throughout the film in a calm, gentle tone that clashes with the noisy city that Istanbul is. “For the main character collecting is something that forms a normal part of his life, so there’s nothing ‘strident’ about it. That’s why I’ve let the city itself provide the noise.”
As for the boom in Turkish films in the last few years, Esmer explained; “we have had to wait too long to make films.Now the Turkish film industry has democratised and we have got a lot of stories to tell.”