Paper Lives (2021) - full transcript

Mehmet is a cherished fellow who runs the solid waste warehouse in the neighborhood, he helps everyone in need, especially homeless children and teenagers since he was one too.




[city sounds]

[pop music playing]

[music continues]

-Hello, welcome.
-Thank you.

-Have fun.

-[man 1] Mr. Yasin! Do you have a moment?
-[man 2] A photo with your wife, please.

-[man 1] Please.
-[man 2] Do you have a moment?

[man 1] Thank you so much.
Could we get one more, please?

[man] Welcome, Ms. Aslı.
Would you mind posing for a photo?

[car revving]

[girls laughing]

Girls, want to go for a ride?

-Get the fuck out of here!
-[woman] Go away!

[honks horn]

Come on, boy! Move!


Come on, boy!

Jeez, fucking nutcase. Move, boy!

Don't stare at me, go away.

[tense music playing]


[rain falling]


[man retches and coughs]


[man retches]


[retching continues]



Did you collect paper again?


It's like a workout.
I get some fresh air, too.

I feel rusty when I sit around.

Workout for what? We collect paper, too.
You don't need to exert yourself.

-You're killing yourself!
-I got dizzy.

Of course you did.
You're trying to kill yourself!

I'll be fine.


You're out of medicine.
The doctor said you should sit straight.

Come here.

[somber music playing]


Hello? Uncle Tahsin?

[siren blares]

[man] Help us! Get out of the way!

-Get out of the way, man! Help us!

-Help us! Isn't there a nurse here?
-Take a number.

-Where? What?
-From the machine by the door.


I'm asking for help,
you're telling me to take a number.

Don't you fear God?

Hang tight. Can you do it?

Sit up straight, okay?


[breathing heavily]



[woman screaming] Help us!

Please, help my son! Help!

-He can't breathe.
-[nurse] Bring a stretcher!

-[mother] Careful.
-[doctor] Stand back. How is he?

-[nurse] He has a pulse.
-[doctor] The respiratory tract is open.

He has bradycardia and anisocoria.

-[nurse] His pulse is dropping.
-[doctor] To the red zone.

-I promise you, baby. You'll get better!
-[doctor] Opening vascular access.

-Run a blood test for allergies.
-[nurse] Right away!

[mother sobs]

My boy…

My boy…

[sobbing] You'll get better,
I promise you.

It will all get better.


[doctor] Breathe in.

[Mehmet breathes in deeply]

Breathe out.

[Mehmet breathes out deeply]


Breathe in.

Breathe out.

You can get dressed.

You're waiting for a kidney transplant.

You need to hang tight
until a suitable donor is found.

-[taps on keyboard]
-It's your turn for dialysis.

Get an appointment soon.
See your nephrologist, too.

I can't take it anymore, Doctor.

[man] Uncle Tahsin!

Get in.

[woman] The downpour that started suddenly
this evening is still affecting Istanbul.

A yellow alarm has been issued.

You can see the footage of the downpour.
The Meteorological Service…

Did you see the kid, Gonzi?

-What happened to him?
-I don't know, brother.

So, what did the doctor say?

The same things, Uncle Tahsin.
I'm still waiting for a kidney.

-And the money?
-I've saved up a lot.

Almost there.

Once they find the kidney,
everything else will be easy.


Why don't you lie down, brother?

-You said I didn't smell? Huh?
-You really don't.

Fuck off! I smell so bad
the doctor's nose fell off.


I don't smell it, at least.

You're feeling better already.

The doctor gave him morphine.
He'll be pretty high soon.

[Tahsin] Isn't he always high, anyway?

We need to find a night pharmacy
to get his prescription.

-No problem.

-When will you go to the hammam?
-The day after tomorrow. Why?

You two smell like shit, boy.

[all laugh]

-[Mehmet] He is right, we smell terrible.
-[woman on radio] The roads…

-[Turkish music playing]
-[Tahsin changes station]

Uncle, leave it on.
If you don't have any objections.

-[turns back to original radio station]


[Gonzales sings along] ♪ I have
an objection to my cruel destiny ♪

♪ I have an objection
to this endless agony ♪

♪ To the fickle finger of fate
To the blows dealt by life ♪

♪ To every single trouble ♪

[Mehmet and Gonzi sing along]
♪ I have an objection ♪

♪ To loves that remain unfinished ♪

♪ To my borrowed smile ♪

♪ To dying before getting to live life ♪

♪ I have an objection ♪

[people shouting]

[hooker] Hey, handsome! Want to have fun?

[man] What's up?

[music playing]

[dog barking]

[bittersweet music plays]





[radio distortion]

[Turkish music playing]


[cell phone rings]

[boy] Goal!

What is it?

I'm fine, Gonzi.

I'm not coming today.

Just kidding.

I'll be there in five minutes,
let me finish my breakfast.

Okay, see you.

[clears throat]

[lively music playing]

[Mehmet] Good morning, Sister Hacer.

Keep knitting, winter's coming.

-Enjoy your food, guys.
-[man] Thanks.

Have a good day.

-[lighter clicks]

-Have a good day, Brother Hasan.
-Thank you.

-Brother Mehmet!

Do you have five liras?

You beggars,
have you been waiting for me here? Huh?

No, brother.

You'll buy glue with that money,
won't you? Smartass.

That's not true, we'll buy bread.

-Bullshit. You think I don't know you?
-I swear to God.

Don't swear to God, boy.
He's already punished you enough.

Look at you.

You boys…

You'll be the end of me. Take it.


If I see you sniffing glue,
I'll tear you a new one.

Now, go.

-[man] This is lovely. I told them…

-What's up, Mehmet?
-I'm fine, you?

We're back from the cruising ground.
We just had pastries.

We have more, want some?

-I can give them to the kids.

-Do you have a cigarette, Mehmet?

-Can I bum one?

-Thanks, love.

Take some more.

I'm trying to quit,
I don't even carry a pack with me.

-All right.

-Thanks, love.
-See you.

-Take care.

Çağla, thanks for the pastries.


[lively music climaxes, ends]

-What are you all up to?
-Where have you been?

He's here. We thought you wouldn't come.

-[Mehmet] I'm here now.
-[man] No worries.

Let's go.

[man] Watch it. Hey.


-How are you doing, Flea?
-I'm fine.

-Take some pastries.

Watch out for the boys in blue,
don't get caught this time.

-Good. You look better, boss.
-I thought I was going to die last night.

-Thanks, Gonzi.
-Not at all.

But you shouldn't postpone
going to the doctor.

-I'll have some.

-Eat before going to work.

-Take some.
-Thank you, brother.

-Here, take as much as you want.
-Eat slowly, you'll choke.

-Have a good day.
-Thank you.

Don't go out to collect paper
because the weather is nice.

Think of Uncle Tahsin.
He is really worried about you.

Enough, Gonzi.
I'm here, I'm not going anywhere.

I'm just saying.
You almost died last night.


Dying is not a problem.

But what about the dreams we have?

We have many of them.
You can't realize them all.

-Don't you remember, you druggie?
-Remember what?



Only you can read this.

That's the bucket list we made
on your last birthday, remember?

You still have it?

Of course.

Why are you bringing it up right now?

Isn't it the right time for it?

If I can't get a kidney,
I'll say, "We were healthy like you."

"One day, you'll die like us."

-Don't say that.

-[taps on table]
-It's true. Let's do the list, huh?


-Okay. What does it say here?
-Here, look.


"Find your mother."


-What's that…
-You can't read it, either.

Wait. It says "Ride in a convertible."

Sure, I've been telling you to jump in.

[mimics engine revving]

-Fuck off!
-Fuck you!

Give my cigarette back!
And stay in your zone.

-Don't get your ass handed to you.
-Nobody has an ass like mine!

I'm just giving you a heads-up. You jerk.


[soft piano music playing]

[opens drawer]

[closes drawer]

[object sliding]

[whispering] 200, 300,
400, 500, 550, 600, 650…

One thousand.

["Çöplük" by Gazapizm playing]

83 kilos of cardboard.


Forty-five kilos.


-What, you jerk?

-Don't touch those bottles!
-Fuck off, mind your own business.


Fuck off back to your turf.

What did you say?

-[man 1] Boy, look…
-[man 2] Come here.

-Come here.
-What did you say?

-Come here.

[police siren blares]


-Have a good day.

["Çöplük" continues playing]

Come here, boy. Come here.

-You fucking…

[man] Where is he?

-[man 1] Over here!
-[man 2] Stop!

-You fucking piece of shit!
-Come over here!

Sixty-one kilos of cardboard.



-[woman] What's going on?


-Fuck you!
-[people screaming]



What's wrong, you fucking dipshits?

I'm going to get you eventually.

-Where have you been, man?
-I'm here. I found a treasure.

My dear brothers, this bottle right here
is worth ten liras at the moment.

But it will be worth much more
once Şüko the Smuggler works on it.

-How many bottles are there?
-10 to 15.

For real?

You lucky bastard.

-What the hell is that?
-A cigar.


Just look at him. He is showing off
with the half of a cigar.

What? A cigar is a cigar, half or not.
You can't miss it, right Flea?

-Yeah. Off you go.


Good night.

-Good night, Flea.

-Take it easy, man. How much is it?
-57 kilos of cardboard.


-Here is your deposit.

-Take this.

-Let's weigh it.
-Can you do it today?

There is a wedding convoy,
I want to go there to beg.

Maybe they'll give me a few liras. Huh?

Okay, I got it.


-Take this, then. See you!
-Fuck off.

Hey, Gonzi! Wash your face,
you'll scare people.

-[Gonzi] What?
-[Mehmet] You jerk.

[distant Islamic call to prayer
over loudspeaker]

You can leave, too. It's getting late.
The azan has started.

-Thanks, brother.

-Thanks, brother.

-See you tomorrow.

[door creaking]

[door shuts]

[object clattering]

[object clattering]


-[rat squeaking]
-You fucking rat!

[object clattering]

[tense music playing]

Psst, cat!



Get out.

Hey, cat! Get out!



What the hell?


[sets pole down]

Where did you come from? Huh?

Shh! Okay, okay, don't be scared!
I'm putting it down, it's okay.

Why were you in that sack?
Why did you go in there? Huh?

What's your name?

Speak, boy. Cat got your tongue?

Get off the floor, you'll catch cold.

Fine, stay there.


Were you beaten?


Psst. Hey, are you lost?

-Shall I take you to the police?
-Don't take me to the police, please!

Okay, no police.
Don't cry, we won't go to the police.

Tell me your name, at least.





Who are your parents?

I don't have a father.

And your mother?


[gentle music playing]

Well, are you hungry?

You'll eat, right?

I made rice.

But you can't eat there.

Come to the table to eat comfortably.

My rice is famous. It's perfect.

Come on.

We can eat first
and then talk about what to do. Okay?

Come on, I'm serving it.

It's ready! Come here.

Okay, don't be scared.

I'm leaving it here, okay?


Oh. It smells delicious!



You won't be full
if you eat rice without ketchup. Okay?



First time eating rice with ketchup?

Well, do you like it?


So, Ali…

will you tell me?

Where did you come from?

Where is your home?



If you don't speak…

we'll have to go to the police.

Please don't.

Did you run away?


I need to make money.



Why do you need money at your age?

To save Mom.

From whom?

From my stepfather.

Mom will come to live with me.

[gentle music playing]

Did your stepfather put you in the sack?

No, Mom did.


why would a mother put her child
in a stranger's sack?

Your stepfather did it?

[plate clatters]


Don't be scared.

Wear these shoes. You are barefoot.

They might be a bit small,

but you will make do.

No need to be scared.

Nobody can touch you here.

You know what?

My place is nearby.

You can stay with me tonight.

We'll talk about
what to do tomorrow, okay?

-Come in.
-What happened?

Come inside.

-Where were you today?
-Here. What is it?

-Where did you go?
-Why are you whispering? Is someone here?

-Did you leave your zone?
-I went to Cihangir. I didn't do anything.

-Why did you ask me to come--
-Be quiet.

Come with me.

Look. This kid came out of your sack.

What am I going to do with him now? Huh?


I don't know…

[lighter clicks]

[exhales deeply]

[horn honks]

We should go to Uncle Tahsin.

Uncle Tahsin? What are you talking about?

Don't you know him? He'd take the kid
to the police straight away!

Let him do that!
Does it make sense to keep this kid--

The kid is covered in bruises! Covered!

-They beat him in his home.
-He has a home at least.

I fucking wish I had a home
where my parents could beat me.

All kids get beaten.

They fucked us up, too.

It hasn't been easy for us, either.

Take the kid to the police, man.

His mother put him in the sack.

She was so desperate
that she had to leave him.

How can I leave this kid now? Huh?


I won't leave this kid
without finding out the truth first.

What if the woman regrets it
and goes to the police?

She knows where she left him.
They will fuck me up, not you.

He was in my sack. Give him up.

You can't take care of yourself,
for fuck's sake. Don't bring a kid to it.

-[clears throat]
-Give him up, for God's sake.

Will you? Huh?

Say something.

[Mehmet clears throat]

-Swear to me.

-Swear to me.
-Don't make me swear…

-Swear to me! You won't tell Uncle Tahsin.

Swear to me you won't.
I'll tell him if I have to.

-Swear to me, Gonzi.

-I said swear to me!
-Fine. I swear!

-I swear!

-I swear. Stop.


I swear. Okay.

-I swear.
-Okay. All right, man, okay.

-I'm letting you go, okay.

-Okay, all right. Okay.

[bittersweet music plays]


-You're going to the hammam?
-It's bathing day. How much are these?

-Fifty liras.

Do you have summer shorts and shirts
for an eight or nine-year-old boy?

-Sure. Wait here.
-All right.


[tense music plays]


I saw you at the hospital.

Is your son okay?

[door chimes jingle]

Mehmet, these will fit him.

They will be fine.

-Okay. How much?
-Just 40 liras.



[indistinct chatter]

[man] Slow the fuck down.

It's too hot!

[Flea] Man, you still stink.

[Gonzi] Give me that bowl. Here.

-It's hot!

You need to pour it slowly, you idiot!


[Flea] Who are they?

[Gonzi] My parents.

-Have you ever seen them?

-Can't I dream about them, either?

Hey! Don't throw water, boy!

Stop it!

Wait! Attack, man!


Take that!

Here, throw water at them.

[lively music plays]

Go on! Go ahead!

Stop it.

Not at me, at them!

Wait a minute, man.

-Okay, enough!

If you like playing with water,
I can take you to the sea.

-Sure! Will you teach me how to swim?
-Don't you know how?

-Of course I will.

♪ The bath bowl is made of silver ♪

♪ He's just come back
From doing you-know-what ♪

♪ The bath bowl is made of silver ♪

♪ He's just come back
From doing you-know-what ♪

♪ The one who put me in this trouble ♪

♪ Is your, is your ♪

♪ Your, your, your, your
Your lousy uncle ♪

♪ Oh, baby, baby ♪

♪ Weaver girls, oh, baby, baby ♪

♪ The bath bowl is made of silver ♪

[faint voices]

[Mehmet] We are nice and clean.

Well, now…


Let's see. And here…


It looks nice. Are you hungry?

-What should we eat? Gonzi!
-Yes, brother?

-We're hungry.
-What should we eat?

How about a hamburger?


[upbeat music plays]

[Gonzi] Okay. Thank you, they look
delicious. Give us your blessing.

-Here you go.
-We have fries, too! Great!

Here you go, Ali.

Take these fries.

-What do we do tonight?
-[Gonzi] What?

-Isn't it your birthday?
-Wait. What are you talking about?

Does anyone in our group know
their birthdays?

No, Gonzi.

Man, play along.

We can have a party for Ali tonight.
We can invite the kids, play some music…

Get a cake from Hüseyin,
put candles on it…

Good idea.

-It'll be fun, he'll enjoy it.

-Okay? Let everyone know.
-Sure. Hey, Flea!

We will have a party tonight
at our place, get ready.

Invite everyone. Get some musicians, too.

Ali, what kind of cake do you like?

-Yes. Chocolate, strawberry, banana?

-How about chocolate?


It looks good.

Gonzi, you guys wait here.
I'll be right back.

Sure, brother.

[object clattering]

Welcome, Mehmet.

-How are you, Hüseyin?
-The same.

Is there anything we can get?
We have a birthday party tonight.

-Whose turn is it?
-It doesn't matter, everyone gets a party.

-Right. Come on in.

What flavor?


-They aren't old, are they?
-No, three days tops.

-Okay. What's this one?
-I made it two days ago. Croquant.

-So, it's pretty good?

Let me get that.

Could you give me
some candles for it, too?

-Of course.

-[Ali] Mehmet!

Ali? What happened to you?

-A lady tried to kidnap me.

[tense music playing]

-Where is Gonzi?
-I don't know.

Come here. Who was it? Huh?

Who was it, Ali? Which one? Show me!

-Was it you?
-Are you high? Why are you shouting?

[screams] Who did it?



Don't be scared. I'm here, okay?

Brother, I found a great bottle--

Why did you leave him all alone?

-I checked the trash--
-Fuck the trash!

Somebody tried to take him.
What if they succeeded, Gonzi?


Brother, my throat…

Brother Mehmet?

[Gonzi coughs]


Okay, let's go.

Come on.

[man] I have slippers!

We'll have a birthday party tonight,
are you excited?

[Gonzi gasps]


[festive Turkish music playing]

Did you pee?

-[music stops]


[man] Oh, no!


Whose birthday is it today?


-Fuck off!

Didn't we celebrate
your birthday recently?

We can do it again.
It's free to make a wish.

Of course we can do it again.
We can celebrate the fuck out of it!


[Flea] Good for you, brother!

-Yes, brother?

Is the cake ready?

I'll bring it.


-What's going on, you nutjobs?
-[man] Wow!

[delicate piano music playing]

Don't blow without making a wish.

Do I get to blow?

We let the young ones go first.

Make a wish, everyone.

You made your wish?


Go ahead.



[Gonzi] Shh! Hey, don't laugh.

Let's try together.

Come on.

[gentle music plays]

One, two, three.

-[man 1] Good job!

-[man 2] Good job!

It's good.

Do you like it?

-It's delicious.

[indistinct chatter]

What are your wishes?

[man] He swallowed it whole.

My wish is to see Mom.

-You wish the same thing every year.

You should change it up. Come on.

[boy] My wish is to die.

Why? You are a young man.
Why would you want to die?

You have many years ahead of you.
You'll be a grown man.

Why do you wish to die?

You know how my mom died
when I was little?


If I die when I'm older,
she won't be able to recognize me.

She won't, right?

[somber accordion music]

[woman singing]

[music fades out]

[distant ship horn blows]

[Mehmet] What's your wish?

[Ali] To have Mom here with me.

We can do that.

I need to save up first.

[Mehmet chuckles]

How much do you need?

Enough to bring her to live with me.


Can I work, too?

Let's sleep on it.

-Will you teach me how to swim tomorrow?
-Of course I will.

Where will we go?

To Sarayburnu.

There is a strong current,
but that's where I learned to swim.

But you'll listen to me.
It's not too deep, anyway.

[Ali] Mom will be so happy to see
that I can swim, you know?

[Mehmet] Of course. Absolutely.

-[Ali] Brother Mehmet?

[Ali] Do you love your mom?

[Mehmet] Everyone loves their mom, Ali.

[Ali] Where is she?

[Mehmet] Far away.

[Ali] Why don't you go to her
if you love her?

[Mehmet] I will, Ali.

I will.

Soon enough.

[Mehmet vomits]

-[Mehmet coughing]
-[toilet flushes]




[tense music playing]







Have you seen Ali?
The boy I had with me last night?

-What happened, dear?
-[screams] Did you see him or not, dammit?

We swear we didn't, girl. He is crazy!


[tense music continues]

Have you seen a boy
aged eight or nine? His name is Ali.

Say something!


-What is it?
-What happened?

-What is it, brother?





Where have you been, Ali?
I spent the morning looking for you. Huh?

I saw my mom in my dream.

It seemed like she was around here.
She was calling for me.

I went to look for her.
I came back when I couldn't find her.

[delicate music plays]


This place is not very safe.

Never go out without me again, okay?

You scared me.

Do you know your home address?

But you can show me
if we go to where you got into the sack?


-To let her know you're okay.
-My stepfather will see me.

He won't, Ali. We'll make a plan.

You show me your home

and I'll talk to your mom
when your stepfather goes away. Okay?

No, Mom told me to never come back.

She was scared, Ali.
What else could she say?

I don't want her to be more scared.

Don't get me wrong, I won't send you away.

I want her to know you are alive and well.



We'll find the money, right?

For sure, Ali. That's easy.


Let's make a deal.

You show me your home

and I find you the money, hm?

Give me your hand.



Shall we go to the sea?

All right.

[upbeat music playing]

Come here!

-I won't drown, right?
-Come here, I'll hold you.

-Don't step on anything sharp.

-So cold!
-You'll warm up once you're in it.

-Come here, come on!

Keep holding me.

Lie face down.

-Go on!
-I'm swimming!

Gonzi! Come over here!

I'm swimming!

[Mehmet chuckles]

Good job.

Well done.

[upbeat music continues]

So, you learned how to swim today.

Your mom will be surprised.

She'll say "Good for you, my boy."

Okay. Have a good night.

Brother Mehmet?

Thank you.

You're welcome, Ali.


Have you made tea, Mehmet?

He swore he wouldn't tell you.
He told on me right away, didn't he?

Don't be mad at Gonzales.
Tell me what you'll fucking do.

I don't know.

He came out of nowhere.
I couldn't kick him out.

His parents must be worried.
Have you tried to reach out to them?

I talked to the boy.

He'll take me to his home
and I'll talk to his mom.

And tell her what?

"He is fine, don't worry.
I'll bring him to you whenever you want."

What if his mom threw him out willingly?

-What if she doesn't want him back?
-No, Uncle.

She did it to save him
from his stepfather.

How do you know?

I saw it.

He's covered in bruises.

What the fuck was his mom doing
while he was getting beaten?

The poor woman must have had no choice.

That son of a bitch beat them so bad
that she got scared probably.

-To save the kid, she--
-She put him in the cart, is that so?

-Let's assume it's true.

Wouldn't his mom look
all over Istanbul to find him?

Maybe she is trying to find him now.

She'll be happy when I take him back.

What if she says

"I threw this kid out willingly,
I don't want him back"?

-What then?
-It's not possible, Uncle Tahsin.

Please, what kind of a mother
would do that?

All mothers love, protect

and dote on their children, is that so?

Isn't that so?

So, tell me, Mehmet.

Where are the mothers of all these kids?

Where is Gonzales' mother?

Where is Flea's mother?
Where is Arab's mother?!

Why are these kids
out on the street, Mehmet?

I see, Uncle.

I'll take care of this kid, then.

Like you take care of us.

You are sick, my boy. You are sick.

Uncle Tahsin!

[Mehmet] Ali!



[children laugh]

What are you laughing at? Huh?

Fuck off.


-Come here, I have a gift for you.


Shh. Don't laugh, okay?

Come on over.

There you go!

You asked me to find you work, so I did.

What is it?


[mimics dramatic music]

-Is this mine?
-Of course!

I made it for you myself.
Give me your hand.

We'll go to work together now, Ali.
I'll teach you everything.


What to collect, where to look…

Grab it.

Okay, now…

Let's see. You put your hand here.
Put the other one like that, too.

-Good job. Are you ready?

Let's race!

Come on.

Go back.

All right.

On my count. Three, two, one.


["Koca Yaşli Şişko Dünya"
by Adamlar playing]


Crush it really well.

They take up a lot of space,
you need to crush them.

Put them against the sides of the sack
so that it stands like a box. Like that.


Let's go.

Open the cap and squeeze really well
to take out all the air.

Come here.

What about this one?


-Ali, look.
-[bottle rattling]

Make sure to take these bottles.
They sell for five liras.

-There are loads here on the weekends.

[cheering gleefully]

[Ali giggles]


[Mehmet laughs]

You were hungry, right?

We started from that bridge
in the morning.

Went around, climbed up there
and came down here.

[music fades]

[chatter on TV]

-Take this.

It's so cool!

I played with it as a kid.

You can have it.

-Are you tired?

If you're awake when I'm back,
we'll have a race.

If you're asleep,
I'll see you in the morning. Okay?


[door closes]

[dog barking]

Brother Mehmet, where is Ali?

-Where is he?
-Where is Ali?

Are you high again?

[kids giggle]

-Why are you laughing?
-Where is Ali?

[Mimicking child] "Where is Ali?"

Why do you care? He is sleeping at home.

Be nice.

-Just asking.
-Piss off!

[child giggles]

[wind blowing]


[somber music playing]


[glass shatters]


Where is it?



[breathing heavily]

-[cat snarls]
-[dog barks]

[cat meows]


What are you doing?





Have you sniffed glue?

Ali! Ali!

My phone…



Hello? Gonzi, come to my place right away!

Ali! Ali! Ali…

Open your eyes, Ali. Ali!

Can you hear me? Ali!

[breathing heavily]

Ali! Why did you do it? [sobbing]


Ali? Talk to me, Ali!

They said I'd see my mom if I sniffed it.

That's why.

[sobbing] Ali…

Never do it again, okay?

Never do it again, Ali.

Why did you hit me?

I didn't, Ali.
I slapped you lightly to wake you up.

Why don't you leave Mom alone?


It's me, Mehmet.

Are you going to give me my mom back?

Ali, I'm Mehmet.

Why did you hit me? What did I do to you?

I'm Mehmet, Ali. Please don't.

I just slapped you lightly to wake you up.
I'm not your stepfather, I'm Mehmet.

-Let me go!
-Come here. Stop it, Ali!

-Let me go! Now!
-Stop it, Ali! You're breaking my heart!

-You're hurting me, Ali. Stop!
-Let me go!




[gasping, coughing]

[gasping breathes]


[Ali] Mom?

I'll be a good boy from now on.

I promise.


Ali… that's my photo.

Give it to me.

I miss you so much, Mom.

That's me, Ali. That's my photo.
It's my mom there.

Ali. Give it to me.

Give my photo back, Ali, come on.

Why would you be in this photo?

That's me, Ali.

That's my photo. It's not you, it's me!

-You're my stepfather.
-[shouting] I'm not, Ali! That's my photo!

Give it to me, Ali!

Give it to me! Don't do it!

Don't rip it up, Ali!
Please, don't do it, Ali!

[sobbing] What have you done, Ali? Don't…

What have you done, Ali?


[sobbing] Ali! What have you done?


[gasping sobs]

[Gonzi] What happened, brother?

They got Ali to sniff glue.

I wanted to take him to the hospital.

He's fine now. Sleeping.
He has calmed down.

What's up with the photo?


He thought I was his stepfather
and ripped it up.


Come here, brother.
Come on. It's over now, okay?

Come on.

It's okay.

We can't take him to the hospital
for sniffing glue, anyway.

They got him to sniff glue
by saying he'd see his mom.

So, he did it.

He misses his mom so much
that he sniffed glue.

Those bastards got me to do it, too.

Back when I first became homeless.

They fooled me, too.


[sobs quietly]

It's okay now, brother.
Why don't you lie down?

We've all been there.
Don't worry about him, just rest.

Okay? Come on now.


[somber music plays]

[Mehmet] What happened to this boy
breaks my heart.

I'll take him home tomorrow.

Where are we going?

We'll collect some paper there
and then go to Cihangir.

Let's not go there.

You promised to show me your home.

-But I don't know where it is.
-You'll remember when you see it.

-Do you remember this neighborhood?
-I do.

Is your home nearby?

You told me not to take you
to the police and I didn't.

You asked for a job, I got you one.

-[cell phone rings]
-Now, you need to show me your home. Huh?

Yes, Gonzi?

We're in Cihangir, looking for Ali's home.

There is a playground here.

I don't know.


[delicate music playing]


Is this your home?

[bittersweet music plays]

Do you know him?

Who is he?

My stepfather.

Stay here.

[tense music plays]


Where did you go?



[Ali sobs]

Ali? Don't be scared, I'm here.

What happened to your face? Come here.

Who did this to you? Huh?

Was it those bastards?

It was my stepfather.

Your stepfather?

It can't be him, Ali. He went away.
Did he come from back there to hit you?

I don't know.

-Tell me the truth.
-I am telling the truth!

These bastards slapped you
because we are in their zone, right?

Wait here.

-Who slapped this kid? Was it you?
-Are you talking to me?

-It's not your turf!



-[police siren blares]
-[man 1] Police!

[man 2] Police!

[police siren blaring]

[gasping, coughing]

[somber music playing]


[wheezing breaths]

[faint beeping]

[faint gasping and coughing]

Get well soon.

[echoing] We almost lost you.

You were lucky.

Is your kid okay?


He was sick?

Is he okay now?

You're under the influence
of medication, sir.

Get some rest.

[gasps faintly]


Who are you?


Some of your blood
is still in the machine.

Lie still, okay?

Get well soon.


Where is Ali?

He's not here.

What do you mean?

I mean… I couldn't find Ali, brother.

You couldn't find him?

[dramatic music plays]

-[gasps] What the hell are you doing?
-Let me go!

Are you insane? Half of your blood is
still in the machine!

-I need to go now! Let go of me!

Let go of me, Gonzi! Let me go!

-Let me go!

Let me go!

-Let me go.
-You'll kill yourself!

Let go of me! Let go of me…

[sobs loudly]

Let go of me…

You'll kill yourself.


Take me out of here.

[Mehmet sobs]

[rain falling]


[Mehmet coughs]

[light switch clicks]



[car approaches]

[car stops]

Did you tell him again?

-Please, brother.
-Shut up.

What are you doing, Mehmet?
Why did you take that money?

-I have something to do.
-Enough about it, Mehmet.

Get out of my way, Uncle Tahsin.

Give me the money.
If you lose it, we can't save it up again.

-Just give it, brother.
-Get back! Let go of me!

I'll stab you all!
I don't care if you are my brothers!

-Get back! [coughing]
-Give it to us, Mehmet.

-Give it--
-Let me go! Get back, Uncle Tahsin!

-They always trick you, Mehmet.
-Nobody can trick me!

-That's what you want to believe!
-What did I believe, Uncle Tahsin?

You never took me to my mother!

You never tried!

I was treated like a bastard!

That kid won't go through the same stuff.

I made a promise. A promise!

I'll save them both.

I'll save them both.

Let me go.

-Let him go.

Let him go.

[somber music playing]



[Ali] I need to make money. To save Mom.

-[Tahsin] You are sick, my boy.
-[Mehmet coughs]

You are sick.

[Mehmet] I got the money. I'll live.

I'll live for this boy.

[doorbell buzzes]

[lock clicks]

[door shuts]

[door creaks open]

[Mehmet grunts quietly]

[distant thunderclap]

[Mehmet coughs quietly]

[haunting music plays]

I came to get you two.

You and Ali.

My dear boy…

Look. Look. Look.

-What's this?
-I got the money. I'll save you.

Is it you again?

I'm sick of you! It's you again!

Don't come back here ever again, go!

-Get back! Get back now!
-Calm down.

Where is Ali?

Ali isn't here, boy.


I'm here, Ali!



[sobs faintly]

Mehmet Ali, that's enough.

Ali, where are you?

Where are you, Ali?

Where did you hide him? Where is he?

Get back.

[intense music plays]

[Mehmet's father]
Did you learn your lesson?

[Mehmet as a child gasps]

-Where are you going?
-[Mehmet as child screams]

[Mehmet's father] Where are you going?
Didn't I warn you before?

What did you do? I'll kill you!

I'll kill you and your mom!
You're a pain in the neck!

I'll kill you!

We know that you used to live here, boy.

We asked our neighbors about you.
Your heartless parents threw you out.


Didn't I tell you?

[Mehmet screams]

Mehmet Ali! Enough, let go of my son!

My boy… Come here, my boy.

[woman] Your family left this place, son.

I know you have suffered,
but you have to accept the reality.

You don't have a family.

[plaintive music playing]

Give us some peace.

[sobbing] Goodbye, baby.



[Mehmet's mother] Goodbye, baby.

[Mehmet as a child] Mom!

[sobbing] Enough!



[sorrowful, delicate music playing]

Mehmet Ali was like a brother to me.

We grew up together.


We tried to build our lives
with what other people threw away.

Mehmet Ali was different.

He'd lose his sanity sometimes.



Later on, he wasn't able to tell apart
imagination and reality.

I played with it as a kid.

You can have it.


His childhood kept calling him back.

Come here, I have a gift for you. Hurry!

He did everything
to make his childhood happy.

[kids laugh]

Shh! Guys, hey!

[Mehmet] Let's blow together, Ali.

Let's go.

We watched how he took care of him.

We didn't say anything.

[Mehmet] You look so handsome.

We couldn't.

Hey, Gonzi! Okay, enough!

If you like water, we can go to the sea.

He'd look happier than he ever looked.


Where were you today?

This kid came out of your sack.
What am I going to do with him now?

Uncle, Ali is back.

That's my photo! Give it to me, Ali!

No, give it back. No, Ali!

Don't! What have you done, Ali?

Ali! [sobbing]

[sorrowful music soaring]


[Gonzi] All he wanted was to help unite
his abandoned childhood and his mom.


Mehmet Ali was a street kid.

[somber music playing]

He didn't have a mother to tuck him in.

He was all alone.

Like us.

["Ağlama Anne" by Selda Bağcan playing]