Truth might well be stranger than fiction, but who would have thought it could be so hallucinogenic? The film follows the surreal story of Petra (Petra Woschniak), a mesmerizing figure who scours the streets of Istanbul. We are introduced to her twilight universe via daily sessions with her very unusual therapist Herold (Herold). This masked conversationalist is a wine-sipping, coke-sniffing man of unspecified sexual orientation who tries to break down Petra’s defenses while maintaining his own. Hidden behind a leather S&M mask and topped off with a variety of flamboyant wigs, he talks her through her deepest fears, though his intentions are unclear. They talk about her life, which initially comes off as a never-ending party. Sporting an intimidating shaved head, Petra is involved with fashion and other artistic endeavors, and has actually made a name for herself as a hairdresser.
Residing in Istanbul as an illegal immigrant, the thirty-eight-year-old German enjoys wide recognition in local alternative circles. She spends her time experiencing life and consuming large quantities of drugs, until the day comes when she has to pay her dues. Petra lost her father, her mother and one of her own kidneys to cancer, and now it seems her twin sister is about to become a casualty of the disease as well. Swiftly leaving Istanbul to care for her sibling in Germany, Petra finds her life suddenly transformed into a series of quiet, homey afternoons in the countryside with her sister’s dogs. It seems she has decided to take a break from her exorbitant lifestyle and befriend the boring neighbors. But will she be able to suppress her Istanbul personality forever? And what is the big secret behind her self-inflicted isolation? Luring us in with a promise of a rational explanation, Ismail Necmi introduces us to a shadowy world of serpentine women and fetishistic males. Moving between fantasy and reality, you soon discover the best place is in between, a nifty little spot where you can be anyone you want to be, no explanations, no holds barred. Necmi, a renowned photographer, moves easily between these realms with fascinating confidence. The result is an intelligent, original and strikingly attractive film.
by Dimitri Eipides, TIFF