There should be a door…
Society has turned its back on Bekir, Ugur and Yusuf, three marginals who look for love in the most unlikely places. Director Zeki Demirkubuz’s tour-de-force love-triangle drama strikes a high note as it transforms its distinctly local story into universal themes of loss, sacrifıce and defeat. There is one particular scene in Innocence that film-lovers can never forget: a heartfelt, lengthy monologue that middle-aged Bekir delivers to Yusuf, the young man sitting beside him. He talks about how he met the love of his life, Ugur, how she has always been in love with another man, and after 20 years, how he is still suffering for his unrequited love as he follows her from one town to another. This is the moment in Zeki Demirkubuz’s masterpiece that totally redefined the melodrama genre which has been inherent to Turkish movie culture ever since the 1960s.
Set against the crumbling walls of rundown hotels, seedy bars and forgotten cities, this is the intense tale of three outcasts who are prisoners of their love. One is a prostitute, the second her pimp/bodyguard and the other a naive young man who is caught in their circle of fire. The misery of their lives is only made more intense as they helplessly cling to things they never had. And of course, the TV never leaves them alone, as the old Turkish melodramas it broadcasts are only a reflection of their desperation and their quest for absolution. Nine years later, Demirkubuz made the film’s remarkable prequel Destiny (Kader), which portrayed the events enfolding during the youth of his protagonists – the destiny which Bekir warns Yusuf to turn away from in Innocence.
Rotterdam Film Festival. 2010
You can watch Masumiyet (Innocence) on Amazon Instant Video.