Nefes. The best Turkish war movie?

Official site.

Nefes can easily be argued to be the best war movie made in Turkey. Previews remind you Full Metal Jacket but i felt like it is in the mood of Apocalpyse Now. Technically it is not worse than any ordinary Hollywood war movie and its plot is well made in such a politically charged subject. According to IMDB: The film is “Story of 40-man Turkish task force who must defend a relay station.” which maybe attacked by Kurdish guerillas. The film gives in to some nationalist themes and nationalists may like the heroic stances but a clever viewer will classify the movie as an anti-war one. There are fantastic fighting scenes but psychological aspects are more dominant. There are great ethnographic insights- as some of my friends already know, I have a plan to write an etnographic piece on military service-such as a dialogue among soldiers about organ donation, soldiers’ phone talks with their relatives, soldiers’ self-entertainment events, an official waking up a soldiers and making a military sermon – which I witnessed that, too, officials are in need of talking-, Kurdish soldiers singing in Kurdish etc are great. My only objection is that there is nearly no swearing. Especially, it in the opening scene there had to be a hard dose swearing. Military talk is impossible without referring to female and male genital organs frequently:)

The preview:

I haven’t yet seen much about reactions but as I said that the plot has clever tricks so objections may be minimum. Turkish flag and Atatürk bust in the station has strong symbolic connotations and every party can take it to its side while what I think is that it makes fun of the state policies in a most clever way. Anyways, I will try to update this post by reactions. Finally, the film does not show the “enemy” side much and this reminds me what Amos Gitai made Kippur (2000)

Hmm, I think this movie should be compared to other Turkish movies made about Kurdish issue and unfortunately I realize now that I am not well equipped at the moment:( I hope some will intervene here. Some of the notable movies:

Günese yolculuk (1999)
Günesi gördüm (2009)
Damn, there must be more. I will have a look.

5 thoughts on “Nefes. The best Turkish war movie?

  1. çok merak ediyorum filmi ama herhalde oraya gelene kadar izleyemeyeceğim. filmin gösterime giriş tarihini ertelediler ertelediler, ben gittikten sonra gösterdiler, kader demeyeyim de ne diyeyim.
    ben de askerlik, kürt meselesi, doğu/güneydoğu üzerine çekilmiş filmleri izleme kampına almıştım kendimi ama gre ve başvurular sağolsun hayatım kendimi amerikan okullarına adamakla geçiyor.
    neyse, lafı uzatmadan filmlere ekleme yapayım, aradığınız şeyler mi bilmiyorum ama benim aklıma gelenler şunlar:
    Yazı Tura (2004)
    Işıklar Sönmesin (1996)
    Büyük Adam Küçük Aşk (2001)
    Şimdilik benim de aklıma bu kadar geldi sanırım.

  2. Especially, it in the opening scene there had to be a hard dose swearing.

    Agreed, something even harder than Pattons speech 🙂

    I’m wondering whether the events are based on a true story or not? Couldn’t find anything on the official website.

    1. I guess as long as “based on a true story” not said, it is fictional. However, the script writer probably relied on the news we grow by….

  3. The film, as far as I know, is based on the book “Güneydoğu’dan Öyküler” written by Hakan Evrensel who is also one of the script writers so maybe he blended in some of the stuff he wrote in the book.

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