Uzak (2002) - full transcript

Mahmut, a 40 year old independent photographer, is a "village boy made good" at least professionally in the big city - Istanbul in this case. After his wife leaves him, he falls into an existential crisis. Then comes his cousin Yusuf, who left his native village after a local factory closed down, effectively unemploying over half the local men. He looks to Istanbul for salvation: a job on board a ship sailing abroad, at once exciting and crucial to supporting his family in the desperately poor village. The distance between the two men is apparent at once, and becomes increasingly pronounced. Whereas Mahmut is adusted to big city life and suffers from many of its neuroses, Yusuf is a lonely, excentric country worker with annoying nervous and hygienic habits, and a sick mother back home he must somehow support. This intimate drama was filmed in the director's apartment in Istanbul, using all his furniture, appliances, rooms, car and so on as the film's props. The actor playing Yusuf is actually the director's real-life cousin, and the actor playing Mahmut is an actual friend, a non-professional actor.


Mahmut, it's Mom.

I called earlier, but you were out.

Take care.

Are you looking for someone?

Does Mahmut Ozdemir live here?

Yes, he lives here.

I'm a relative of his from back home.

- Did you ring the bell?
- There's no answer.

Sometimes the bell shorts out.

Do you think he went out?

I didn't see him leave.

- Good morning, Kamil.
- Good morning.

Could you accept a package for me?

Sometimes they won't let me
sign for it.

- Please try anyway.
- Of course.



Go buy the things on the list.

Right now?

Yes. I've got some cooking to do.

- All right.
- Hurry up.


Sorry, I completely forgot
you were coming.

That's okay. No problem.

What's the news?

Back home, everybody's the same.

Do you still work at the factory?

The economic crisis put the factory
out of business.

My father was dismissed. Then me.

There's no work at all now.

- How many people lost their job?
- A thousand.

That's a whole town full of people!

It sure is.

What will you do on the ship?

I'll work as a cabin boy.
Or a steward.

I'll do whatever job
they've got for me.

Sailors make a lot of money.

Money in US dollars.

And you see the world.

There's no economic
crisis at sea.

The dollars make up
for the inflation.

It may not be that easy.

You'll be away on long journeys.

Can you take that
kind of loneliness?

Have you thought about that?

You know I like to travel.

But the main thing is to earn money.

That's why I'm here.

I also want to travel!

You've been everywhere,
so why not me?

Every place ends up
looking the same.

How many days before
you find a job?

I don't know exactly.

You said about a week on the phone.

I guess it'll take a week or so.

Yeah, about a week.

At night, be careful

of the mouse glue strip.

If you step on it,
you'll be stuck there all night.

And don't use the toilet in the
bathroom. Use the other one.

- The one by the entrance?
- Yes.

And we only smoke in the kitchen.

OK then, good night.

Good night.

Come this way.


Is this where the freighters come in?

They dock here but
the offices are in Karakoy.

- They dock here?
- Yes, they do.

But the offices are in Karakoy.

So I can't get a job
directly on board?

No. Go to the shipping agents
on Monday.

I'll come. You set it up.

The thing is, I'm coming
with someone.

No, he is someone
from my hometown.

Will any girls be coming?



We'll be there.

See you tomorrow.


Welcome back.

- God, it's cold!
- It's so late.

- I was getting worried.
- God, the snow is bad.

How could you go out
in this weather?

My socks are soaked.

Can I dry them on the radiator?

Yes, you can.

How'd the job hunting go?

Well, I went down to the port.

I'll dry my shoes, too.

All right.

It seems you don't find jobs
at the port.

I was told to go to
Karakoy on Monday.

I walked around Eminonu.

I'd better put on a new
pair of socks.

Money doesn't make you
happy any more.

And I think you're looking
for your past here.

You're rambling.

Maybe. But have you already forgotten...

our climb to the
summit of Reshko...

to get a better shot of
the White Valley?

You used to say then you'd make
films like Tarkovsky.

So why are you trying
to forget those days?

Photography is finished, man.

No, it's not.

The mountains, too.

Maybe it's you who's done for.

You're announcing your death
before it's happened.

You don't have the right
to bury your ideals...

or make everything commercial.

Hey, Arif, where are the chicks?

- They all backed out.
- What do you mean?

We've reserved the whole Sunday.
Where are they?

Not here. At the cinema
or wherever. Fuck it.

You're weaseling out of it again.

Photography or women.

Which do you prefer?

I prefer photography.

Come on. Photography is dead.

This fits here normally.

But it's too loose.

Tell your mother
to wrap some tape here.


There's a package.
Shall I get it now?


If you want, I'll wait for it.


For the love of God.

We can't find anything
once we've put it down.

Here it is.

- Thanks.
- Good evening.

Good evening to you, too.

There's also a problem
with the dust bag.

Let's go to your house to show
your mother how to attach it.

I think I'd better go to bed.


Good night. See you tomorrow.

Good night.

Could you close the door?

Hi Mom, what are you up to?

Is your toothache better?

Why don't you let that old tooth
puller Nuri take care of it?

Cause Mahmut's sleeping...

I am sure Nuri gives credit.

I'll pay it once I earn it.
Tell him.

What are you ashamed of?

No need to worry about me.
You take care of yourself.

Yeah, so I've been around.

I was told to go to Karaköy
on Monday.

What did Dad do?

There's no chance the factory
will take him back.

He should stop kidding himself.
They always say that.

Anyway, I've got to hang up.

Stop putting off that tooth,
Mom. OK?

I'll call you again. Good night.

Can I take the magazine
over there?

I'll turn on the light for a second.

It's late. Let's turn that off.

Good night.

Good night.

Do you know where
the sailors' coffeehouse is?

Behind that hilltop.

May I sit here?

At your age, I thought the same.
But listen.

I've worked on the
ships for months now.

And I have nothing.

I never could send any money home.

I am broke just like Tarzan.

Listen to me.

There's no work
and no money on the ships.

Forget it while you're still ahead.

It's an empty dream.


Come on in, Yusuf.

It's snowing like crazy.

Where were you till now?

I was trying to
find a job. You know.

So what happened?

Well, some said they would call me.

Others told me to come back

or that they'd think about it.

What are you doing?

What can I do?
Just surfing the net...

Is there a problem with the job?

No. There's no problem.

It looks like they want someone
to act as a guarantor.

No guarantor, no job.

That's easy enough.
You can take care of that.

But I don't know anybody
in Istanbul.

I don't know what to do.

There was something here.
I just can't seem to...

The God damned thing
has 50 channels

but there's only shit!

What a rip off. Look at that!

I want to call home.

Can I use the phone?

All right.

The phone in the back room.

OK, go use it.

He refused to give us any credit?

What a bastard!

When I get back,
I'll punch him real good.

I'll punch out
his teeth one by one.

Anyway, forget about it.

I'll send you some money
as soon as I get a job.

Mahmut's going to Anatolia
to take pictures

and he says I should go with him.

If he gives me money,
I'll send it to you.

Then you throw that money
in that bastard's face.

Okay, take care.

That fucking mouse!

"Our agency has no current need
for ship personnel."

Hello. I'm looking

for a job on a ship.

There're no jobs.

All right. Thanks anyway.

So, it's Canada?

Orhan got a very good offer.

We don't want to miss
this opportunity.

When are you leaving?

In two or three weeks.

By New Year, we'll be in a new country

starting a new life.

It's hard.

It's not so hard when you
don't have that much

to leave behind.

We spent a lot of money
on doctors.

That's one reason
to sell the house.

We can settle that. But I keep
thinking about that baby matter.

How can they be sure it happened

because of the abortion you had?

They just say the abortion is
the most probable reason.

I was three months pregnant
if you remember?

I remember.

But we were about to get divorced.

That's why I didn't want it.

I'm not blaming you. Really.
Don't worry about it.

You should see a doctor in Canada.

I still doubt that one abortion
can cause infertility.

We didn't believe it either at first.

We went to different doctors.
But that's the way it is.

I've resigned myself actually

but it's hard for Orhan.

He really likes children.

I told him we could separate.

He doesn't want to.

It's empty.

Have one of these
sailor cigarettes.

How can you smoke that shit?

There's still sunlight.

- Raise it a little.
- It seems okay.

Don't you see that?

Now, there it is.

Raise that light a little.

Leave it.

Didn't you see me do that before?

Why did we stop?

Open that window.

God, what a place to photograph!

It's best to shoot from the top.

Sheep in front and
the lake behind.

Shall I set up the camera now?

Shall I?


Fuck it! Why bother?

- I'll set it up right now.
- Forget it.

Kamil, put it down on the rug.
I'll take it from there.

Mahmut. This is your sister.
Mom is sick.

We're rushing to emergency.
Call me back.

Mahmut, where the hell are you?

Mom's been hospitalized.

She'll be operated on tomorrow.

I'm staying with her. My kid's
suffering and so is my work.

You could at least come and help.

How can you refuse to get a mobile?

You're so irresponsible!

- God, I'm tired.
- Take this.

Isn't it too much?

In that case, give some back.

If you take more photos
I'd like to come along again!

What's wrong, Mom?
Can't you sleep?

It hurts. Right here.

Maybe it's just gas.

Do you think I should walk a bit?

All right. Let's give it a try.

Take the serum, too.

Let's go.

Hold the serum up.

Higher. Higher.

- Or else, blood comes.
- Easy, now.

It hurts more when I lie down.

Sickness comes
when you least expect it.

And you smoke so much!

I don't understand

why you smoke so much.

I can't stop, Mom. I've tried...

Yes, you can. First cut down,
and then give it up altogether.

Just a bit more, sweetie.

I can't find anything
in this house.

I'm closing the door
to keep the noise down.

Yusuf. Are you there?

It's Mahmut.

If you're home, pick up the phone.

Hey Mahmut.

Where were you?
I've called you all day.

Well you know, I went to...

How's your mom doing?

We brought her home.
She's resting. Listen...

I've got something going on
at my place tonight.

Can you get lost until ten or so?

Sure. I'll go to Beyoglu or
around there.

I've got this thing to do.

I got it.

Son of a bitch!

Look at that.

Little prick!

Filthy son of a bitch!

- Is she gone?
- Is who gone?

You know.

Did you smoke in the living room?

No, I didn't.

Come on, stop lying.
It reeked here when I came in.

And there were ashes on the floor.

Remember that day when
we smoked together?

I thought you smoked here, too.

Listen to me!

When I turn my back,
you take advantage of it.

I often told you to flush
the toilet, for instance.

- No, you didn't.
- Do I have to tell you this?

At your age,
haven't you learned yet?

When you're a guest,
you have to be a little careful.

I'm not home for a day
and you shit everywhere.

I've got lots of worries, and
now I have to clean your shit?


No more smoking in the kitchen,
either. I've quit.


What do you think?

I bought it for my niece.

Isn't it great?

What happened with the ship job?

Nothing definite yet.
I'm waiting for some final word.

- When will you know for sure?
- I don't know.

I keep running after jobs.

They all say they'll let me
know in a few days.

Will you go back home,
if you don't find a job?

No way.

So what the hell will you do?

If I return to the village now,
I'll never get out.

And there's no work
at the factory.

Life in the village
is not for me.

So what are your plans?

Shut the fucking thing off.
I'm asking you something here.

Could you get me a job
at the tile factory?

Sure, they're just waiting for you.

Don't you think the recession
has hit here too?

Maybe they need a guard,
or something like that.

A guard? Two days alone here,
and look what happened.

You have no credentials.

What work could you do
if they did hire you?

Plant beans, work as
a steward or what?

Come on, Mahmut.
Don't be so hard on me.

I just want you to ask them.
I'd do the same for you.

I've never asked them
for anything.

This town has changed you.

Listen kid, ever heard of pride?

You can't just throw it
on a garbage heap.

What would you lose by trying?

You don't know shit.
You're running off at the mouth.

You think it's that easy?

I've taken photographs for them
for ten years.

And I didn't even get a discount

for the tiles on the balcony.

You come in from the country
and look for someone with pull.

You don't worry
about learning any skills.

You start looking for a cousin,
an MP or whoever.

You want it all on a platter.

I did everything by myself here.

I came to Istanbul
without a cent.

You hop on a bus without
making any plans.

And you become a burden.

That fucking mouse doesn't
leave the kitchen.

We get caught,
but the fucker doesn't.

Turn it off!

- Do you have any Sezen Aksu music?
- No.

Who's that "Bak" on all
those CDs over there?

What are you looking for?

A watch. Have you seen it?

What kind?

A silver pocket watch.

- No, I haven't seen it.
- Are you sure?

I'm positive.

If I had, I would tell you.
Why wouldn't I?

Where did you keep it?

In the middle drawer of my desk.

When did you put it there?

Just a month ago.

I used it as a prop
on my last shoot.

I swear, I haven't seen it.

Maybe you put it somewhere else,

or gave it to a friend.

Forget about it.
It's not that important.

Of course it's important.

Just drop it. Okay? Fuck it.

- Hello?
- Mahmut, hi, it's me, Nazan.

Hi Nazan, how are you?

We're leaving tomorrow
and I wanted to say goodbye.

Tomorrow? That's so soon.

Yeah, on the 9 o'clock plane.

We may never see each other again.

I wanted to thank you again

for signing the paper.

Forget about it. It was nothing.

Can you hold for a second?

Okay, we can talk now.

When I left that day,
I had a terrible feeling.

I don't want to leave
feeling like this.

I was somewhat distant towards you

because of my emotions.
But after all these years

there's no need for that.

It doesn't matter. Forget it.

Nazan, listen...

I think Orhan's coming.
I have to hang up.

- All right...
- What were you going to say?

I'll tell you some other time.

Take care.

Okay. Bye.


I swear I never saw it.

- OK, enough!
- I didn't even know where it was.

Stop chewing on it! I don't
want to hear about it any more.

God, what a character!

Leave it. The janitor will
take care of it tomorrow.

It'll be squeaking
like this all night.

What can we do?
Can you handle it?

Yes, I can.
But how can I get it unstuck?

No need to. Put the whole thing
in a plastic bag.

Close it and throw it out
in the trash.

Alive like that?

What else can we do?

For Ebru.