Dry Summer

In 1964 this Turkish rural melodrama was submitted to the Berlin Film Festival over the objections of its own government, which believed it gave foreigners the “wrong” image of Turkey. The film went on to win the festival's coveted Golden Bear prize for Best Film, a reward that should have opened up new avenues for the film; instead, the Turkish government responded by promptly “withdrawing” the work from circulation, and suppressing it for over forty years. Infusing the aesthetics of Italian neorealism with the vibrant, centuries-old traditions of Turkish folk tales and songs, Dry Summer weaves a pointed metaphor of social oppression, as a wealthy farmer attempts to first seize all of his village's water supply, and then his nephew's beautiful young bride. “An uncompromisingly brutal portrait of power, greed, and passion,” wrote the London Film Festival, “yet stylistically it is quite startling, its brilliant black-and-white photography creating a form of hyperrealism that renders the heat and dryness of the landscape almost palpable.”

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