Anatolian Outlaw: Yilmaz Güney

9/17/11 to 10/9/11

Renegade Turkish actor/filmmaker Yilmaz Güney (1931–84) created a cinema that took key elements of Turkish and Kurdish outlaw folklore and merged them into a hypnotic blend of Italian and Hollywood Westerns, Third World cinema, and social realism. This series features eight of his films, including the 1982 winner of the Palme d'Or at Cannes, Yol.

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Past Films

  • The Poor

    • Sunday, October 9 5:35pm

    Yilmaz Güney (Turkey, 1974). (Zavallilar) New 35mm Print! On a winter's night, three convicts are released from jail. A fascinating mix of hard-bitten realism and florid melodrama. (72 mins)

  • The Herd

    • Saturday, October 1 6 pm

    Yilmaz Güney (Turkey, 1978) New 35mm Print! Introduced by Özgür Yaren. The Herd has a simple premise that it utilizes to devastating effect: the economic survival of a Kurdish family depends on its herd of sheep. The constant threats to the livestock and the family serve both as ethnographic documentary and existential (and political) parable. (129 mins)

  • Elegy

    • Saturday, October 1 8:45pm

    Yilmaz Güney (Turkey, 1971) New 35mm Print! A group of smugglers keeps one step ahead of the police in Güney's tough Turkish Western, part Wild Bunch, part “hymn to. . . the freedom from oppression” (Fernando Herrero). Güney's elemental combination of Hollywood action and Third World activist cinema is hypnotic. (80 mins)

  • The Hungry Wolves

    • Thursday, September 29 7 pm

    Yilmaz Güney (Turkey, 1969) New 35mm Print! Sergio Leone meets Glauber Rocha in this “ethnographic Western” about a mountain bandit on the run in a violent, snow-bound world. Taut with raw poetry and documentary-like realism amidst the gun battles, and starring Güney at his most Clint Eastwood/Lee Marvinesque. (70 mins)

  • Yol

    • Saturday, September 24 6:30pm

    Yilmaz Güney, Serif Gören (Turkey, 1982) New 35mm Print! Five Kurdish prisoners are set free for a week, but their return home only offers a different kind of entrapment, in Güney's remarkable critique of political, religious, and sexual oppression. Palme d'Or, Cannes, 1982. (111 mins)

  • The Friend

    • Saturday, September 24 8:40pm

    Yilmaz Güney (Turkey, 1974) New 35mm Print! Güney turns his gaze away from the struggling rural poor and toward the alienated urban rich in this scathing Antonioniesque indictment of the class boundaries and glass ceilings of contemporary Turkey. Güney stars as a still-committed activist who reunites with a now-rich, debauched old friend. (100 mins)

  • Hope

    • Saturday, September 17 6:30pm

    Yilmaz Güney, Serif Gören (Turkey, 1970). New 35mm Print! Introduced by Deniz Göktürk. A street vendor experiences hope, despair, and finally madness in this politically committed, neo-realist critique of Turkish society and class divides. “A magnificent achievement…defines for the first time Güney's universe with startling clarity” (Derek Elley). (100 mins)

  • Bride of the Earth

    • Saturday, September 17 8:45pm

    Yilmaz Güney (Turkey, 1968) New 35mm Print! Güney adds some baroque, almost Bosch-like touches to this tale of a man separated from his bride-to-be by superstition and feudalism. “Contains surprising moments of quiet lyricism that suggest Güney was becoming familiar with Satyajit Ray and Roberto Rossellini” (Senses of Cinema). (78 mins)