Session 1:The Trek of Life
Date: 2nd March 2011
Commentator: Prof Siti Hawa Ali
Prof Wan Abdul Manan(Course Coordinator)
Yi Yi, Rais, Siti Suhaili & Wan Suriati.
Director/Writer:Yilmaz Güney (1982)
Runtime: 111 min.
Genre: Drama | Romance
LANGUAGE: Turkish | Kurdish
SUBTITLE: Spanish & English Subs Srt.
Cast:Tarik Akan, Erif Sezer, Halil Ergün, Meral Orhonsoy, Necmettin obanolu, Semra Ucar, Hikmet Elik, Sevda Aktolga, Tuncay Akça
A harsh portrait of Turkey, its people and its authorities, shown through the stories of five prisoners given a week's home leave, and the problems they encounter in adjusting to the world outside.
The Road is the story of five inmates who have been released on parole. A wide and detailed panaroma of Turkey is drawn with the stories of each inmate during their long journey home by bus and train. Along the way, we witness the "lost lives" of inmates Suleyman, Mevlut, Omer, Memd Salid, and Seyid Ali Firat.
# Awards1982 Cannes Film Festival Golden Palm Award
# International Directors Award
# Church Council Special Award
Tell you more
The story was all about an open prison system in Turkey, somewhere aronud 1982. This film tells stories about 5 among many, prisoners who acted well along the jailed sentence period, and had been allowed to take a week leave before they had to come back again to the cell. They were all given a permission slip as an identification document to prove that they are on legal leave.
The first man, (can’t get his name) unfortunately on his way to be homed, had misplace his ID slip, and when the bus they ridded was being block by security army (Turkey on that time was under Military government) this man has to accept that his not going to see his family during this valuable period. Even how hard he tried to explain to the army that his was on legal “on leave”, he ended up to be in cell again because by the time the army had confirm his legal holiday, the one week period would be over.
The second character was about Mehmet. He went back to Urfa to bring away his wife Emena and two little children, unfortunately his in-laws couldn’t accept him anymore. Emena then decided to run away, leave her family and follow her beloved husband Mehmet.
However in their way to Mehmet’s hometown, his brother in law (Emena’s brother) had run for them, and killed them both.
The third character, Seyit had a gloom story. He was forgiven and accepted by his whole family. The love Seyit very much, and his beloved wife Zine promised to wait for him until he is free. Sadly his wife broke the promise and turns out dishonorable to him, become a prostitute. She had been caught by Seyit’s family and was been locked in a dark room. Her foot been chained and she only given bread and water. Seyit decide to bring Zine back to her brother in Sanjack. They together with their only son travelled a long journey through bad weather and heavy snow, and finally Zine dead due to freezing.
The forth character was somehow “lucky” from others. Got a week leave, went back and visit prostitution’s house in his midway home, and later got engage with a beautiful young girl.
The last person was Omar. He went back to his village which was under strict military government. Anyone pass the border of different region would be shoot. It happened that his brother was one of the victims and according to their culture; he had to inherit his brother’s wife and children. And it is very sad that he has to leave his lover just to uphold the culture.
Comment & Discussion
This movie shows how this community reacts towards cultural and morality issues. Honor killing is one of the issues practiced in Middle East, such as Seyit killed his weak horse that cant bear the cold weather and heavy snow anymore. Besides that, Seyit family could not forgive Zine and punished her severely. Even it was hard for Seyit to punished his wife but his princip that upholding the morality sense had prevent him from forgiving his wife. (However, they didn’t really follow the Islamic law to punish the convict)
The same thing happened to Mehmet & his wife Emena. They were killed by their own brother because
1) Mehmet, in his previous history, had cause death of his brother in law Aziz (Emena’s elder brother) due to his “cowardness”.
2) After all those days, Emena forgive his husband and run away from her family. This means she had dishonored her family and her religion.
Sacrifices: Omar sacrifice his beloved brother’s body after the army asked him to recognize the corpse, because if he claimed the body, his whole family would be labeled as “potential criminals” by the army, and their daily life would be more difficult. Since that day, Omar also had to sacrifice his true love just because the culture “forces” him to marry his brother’s wife.
These were only some part of the hardship they were facing in their life, and how they have to go through all the circumstances.
All the audiences enjoy the movie and many said that they learnt something from the discussion.