Three Monkeys

(Üç maymun)

A psychologically suspenseful, spare, and contemplative neo-noir.


Ercan Kesal, Yavuz Bingol, Hatice Aslan, Ahmet Rifat Sungar,

Ceylan’s films are best known for the storms that lurk beneath the surface of his characters, but in Three Monkeys such turmoil comes straight to the fore. “I wanted to test myself with a different kind of story,” he noted. Embracing a noirish, melodrama-fueled plot-line that wouldn’t seem out of place in a soap opera, the film begins as a conniving politician hits and kills a pedestrian, then bribes his chauffeur to take the fall. Such actions soon lead to adultery, violence, and enough further moral decay and social disorder to please any noir completist. Three Monkeys stands out for its striking use of widescreen ‘Scope, moving between entrapped, claustrophobic interiors and soaring shots of the darkening Istanbul skies. “Ceylan creates wonderful, painterly, yet unsentimental visions of the Istanbul waterfront,” wrote Peter Bradshaw in The Guardian. “The rigour and intensity of Three Monkeys is invigorating; it is nourishing in a way few other films are.”

Jason Sanders
  • Nuri Bilge Ceylan
  • Ercan Kesal
  • Ebru Ceylan
  • Gökhan Tiryaki
  • Turkish
  • with English subtitles
Print Info
  • Color
  • 35mm
  • 109 mins
  • Zeitgeist Films