Turkish cinema is experiencing a triumphant 2014. After Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Palme d’Or win at the Cannes Film Festival with “Winter Sleep,” the celebration bells are ringing for two more titles. Only this past weekend, first-time director Erol Mintaş’s “Annemin Şarkısı” (Song of My Mother) won the prestigious Heart of Sarajevo award, the top prize of the Sarajevo Film Festival, and this week another first-time director, Kaan Müjdeci, is presenting his debut feature “Sivas” at the 71st Venice Film Festival opening on Wednesday.
Guy Lodge reviewed Sivas for Variety;
Boy-and-his-dog films usually tug on the heart with puppyish persistence, but there’s little easy sympathy to be found in Turkish director Kaan Mujdeci’s tough, imposing debut feature “Sivas” — and not many cuddly mutts or moppets either. Painting an even more severe picture of the Anatolian steppes than the recent works of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, this sparse story of an 11-year-old problem child and the brawny fighter dog he adopts is distinguished by its muscular technical brio and rich, integral sense of place.
Here is the complete Variety review of Sivas from Venice Film Festival