Halcyon (2021) - full transcript

Anima explores the influence different cultures and beliefs have upon the relationships between humans and animals by travelling to different regions around Turkey and witnessing a range of events. Set against the backdrop of personal memories and dreams, Anima investigates the ideologies and rituals associated with sacredness and sacrifice. The journey starts at a camel wrestling-cum-beauty contest in the Aegean region of Turkey. During this contest, Anima juxtaposes the attitudes of a patriarchal society with the director's questioning of his own identity as he recollects his relationship with-and alienation from-his own community. Anima then heads to Konya in Central Anatolia, populated almost entirely by conservative Muslim Turks. During the "Festival of the Sacrifice", Anima follows the trajectory of a sacrificial ceremony, beginning at a live animal market and culminating with an Imam's sermon. In the process, the director recounts childhood memories of a cow being sacrificed and questions of the dynamics of gender and species through the lens of his relationship with his father and religion. The journey continues in the Dersim Region, inhabited mostly by Kurdish and Zazaki people. There, Anima observes a different belief system based on Zoroastrianism. While exploring different locations in Dersim that are considered sacred by locals, Anima follows the lives of a cow, a goat, a Zarathustra, and of several local villagers. From that point on, the lines between memories, dreams, reality, and fiction start to blur.

I only remember fragments of memories,
dreams, and feelings from my past life.

Most of them are of life and death,

I couldn't understand back then.

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Dear spectators: this time,
Samanyolu attacks its opponent, Lodos,

from the right side.
The camels are trying to leave.

Crazy Akın from Germencik!
Ha run from Harmandağ!

These camels are expected on the field.

After Crazy Akın and Harun's game

for the trophy...

Akın the Ruler vs. Yağız the Legendary
Swashbuckler, Number One vs. Bozkurt…

Gezer the Little vs. Göktuğ Pasha,
Goshawk vs. The Revenant 09,

Omur the Ruler vs. Anafarta the Turkish

they're all ready for the final game.

Both camels start
the fight at a fast pace.

After locking their necks,
the camels rest for a moment.

Göktuğ Pasha is locked to his opponent
once again;

he tries to beat him but fails.

Meanwhile, Gezer the
Little strengthens his hold.

He makes another move.

Referees, be careful.

The director of
Seferihisar Geothermal Inc.

…dear Tayfun İlhan has just joined us;
we welcome him.

Göktuğ Pasha recovers
himself in the meantime.

Now he makes a move,
trying to free himself from the hold.


Stop the wrestling, fellas.

Stop the wrestling!

Dear police officers.


Break up the wrestling, pals.

Break up the fight.

This is not human wrestling!

Shame on you!

What a lack of manners!

Break up those camels first!
Make them wait.

Camel Sausages.

The camels are coming.

Yes, the second competitor is
07 Quaresma from Selçuk.

07 Quaresma from Selçuk is a young one.

Turn him around on his own axis.

Quaresma from Selçuk participates
in the contest as number 07.

Dear jury members,
please vote for each camel from one to 10.


Jury members vote between one and 10...

...in the fanciest camel contest.

For the 2020 Efes Selçuk camel wrestling,

Sürmelim is selected as the
fanciest camel. Congratulations.

Thank you, Mrs. Mayor.

Dear press members,
with a total of 70 points,

Sürmelim from Bodrum Mumcular wins the
fanciest camel competition.


Dear press members, camels are slaughtered
in Australia: exterminated, killed...

As is demonstrated here, we
place a lot of importance in them.

I kindly urge you to notice this fact.

I remember going to the
village on a lovely, sunny day.

While my mother and the other women
were doing the house chores;

as men of the family, we were onto
something I didn't understand entirely.

I helped my father dig a small hole.

I learned how to hold
the shovel, dig the earth,

and throw away the soil.
I learned these things.

Then, a few other men brought
a cow behind a small truck.

Aksehir Municipality Livestock Market.

Welcome, welcome, welcome!

Take your pick — 1000 Lira!

Come on boy, come on boy, come on!

Move away, mate!

Mankind, mankind.

On the days of greater Eid,
you can't find a better job,

there is no better religious service
than sacrificing an animal.

That means there is no need to fuss.
Sacrifice, yes — the ritual of sacrifice

is the most beautiful thing for us;

it is the best thing we do.

Through these sacrifices,
we proclaim once again that

we embrace the sincerity,
loyalty, and devotion

that is expected of us
by the almighty Allah.

Uncle! Stop the engine!

Come on — bring that here!

Enough. Lift it down like that.

Drive backwards a bit!

Drive backwards a bit, man!



Stop the engine and come here, brother.

Shall I bring the knives as well?

We have knives here.
Come down— be quick.

Mehmet, let me see your strength, boy.

Here we go.
Allahu Akbar!

Allahu ekber.

I watched the cow's life pour into the
hole we dug with my father and disappear.

While I was standing there alive
with my little body,

that majestic animal was
lying motionless on the ground.

I remember making up
an excuse and leaving.

Then, I was called back to have
my forehead painted with blood.

The sun is about to rise.

I become aware of my own body.

I feel as if my limbs are redundant.

I don't know where to
put my hands or my feet.

It is so weird to be myself.

My dearest.

I would die for you.

I am in a place that looks like home.

I want to go out,

but as soon as I reach
for the shoe cabinet,

I notice there is a baby goat inside.

When I try to take the baby goat out,

cats—which I didn't realise were
there before— scratch my hands.

I pull my hands out in pain,
then try again.

This time, even more
cats scratch my hands.

I start to smack them away:
one, two, three…

Every cat I hit crashes
against the wall and falls down.

I try once again,
but whenever I put my hands inside,

I encounter more cats.

Even though they are not strong enough
to stop me,

there are too many of them.

I can't reach the baby goat.

Then I go out to the
balcony to watch the sunrise.

Get off!

Why are they kept
separate from these ones?

My dear, they're nursing.

My dear, they're nursing.

They're sucking their mother's milk.

If we let them be, they'll recognize
their own mother and drink her milk.

Well, don't they have to nurse? I mean...

If they drink all the milk
and there's none left,

what are we supposed to milk then?

Itır, İnci, and Sümbül are left behind.

You brought Bunak and he fled.
That's all I know.

Why is this one fleeing?
Come here, come, come…

As if she has never seen anyone, my gosh!

Oh! Rojda Mete,
do not deprive us of your light.

Oh! Xızır… Whatever is left in the forest,
outside, in the wild, in the world,

in the neighboring world, give it to us,
to the poor, on a rainy day.

O! Rojda Mete,
do not deprive anyone of your light.

Dersim, the land of all sacred things.

The land of dervishes,
owners of the grey moon.

Claim your loyals. Don't make our
children dependent on anyone but you.

Give us relief.

Oh! Rojda Mete! Don't let our elders
dependent on anyone but you.