|Directed by||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
|Produced by||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
|Written by||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
Muzaffer ÖzdemirMehmet Emin Toprak
|Cinematography||Nuri Bilge Ceylan|
Ayhan ErgürselNuri Bilge Ceylan
|Release date(s)||20 July 2002|
|Running time||110 minutes|
Uzak is a 2002 Turkish film directed by Nuri Bilge Ceylan. It was released as Distant in North America, a straight translation of its title.
Uzak tells the story of Yusuf (Mehmet Emin Toprak), a young factory worker who loses his job and travels to Istanbul to stay with his relative Mahmut (Muzaffer Özdemir) while looking for a job. Mahmut is a relatively wealthy and intellectual photographer, whereas Yusuf is almost illiterate, uneducated, and unsophisticated. The two do not get along well. Yusuf assumes that he will easily find work as a sailor, but there are no jobs, and he has no sense of direction or energy. Meanwhile, Mahmut, despite his wealth, is aimless too: his job, which consists of photographing tiles, is dull and inartistic, he can barely express emotions towards his ex-wife or his lover, and while he pretends to enjoy intellectual filmmakers like Andrei Tarkovsky, he switches channels to watch porn as soon as Yusuf leaves the room.
Mahmut attempts to bond with Yusuf and recapture his love of art by taking him on a drive to photograph the beautiful Turkish countryside, but the attempt is a failure on both counts. At the end of the film, Yusuf leaves without telling Mahmut, who is left to sit by the docks, watching the ships on his own.
- Muzaffer Özdemir as Mahmut
- Emin Toprak as Yusuf
- Zuhal Gencer as Nazan (as Zuhal Gencer Erkaya)
- Nazan Kirilmis as Lover
- Feridun Koc as Janitor
- Fatma Ceylan as Mother
The use of the word distant rather than distance shifts emphasis from the gap itself to the state of existence. While Yusuf is from the village, Mahmut lives in the city. Although they are able to bridge the geographical distance they remain emotionally and spiritually distant. Mahmut spends his days in the city trying to cope with loneliness and emotional vacuum. While the arrival of his cousin Yusuf should have filled in that hollowness, it only proves to deepen for both of them. The film portrays the alienation brought about by increasing globalization and urbanization.
It is also aptly and to an extent ironically picturized in the scene where Yusuf tells Mahmut of his intention to find a job on a ship, to which Mahmut replies that a sailor's job is tough and consists of sailing to faraway lands totally cut off from civilization and asks him if he would choose such a life of loneliness and solitude. Yusuf in return says that he only cares about the money as he had heard there were chunks of money in the sailing business. This in a way reflects the mentality and the desperation of the modern generation and their willingness to distance themselves from their objects of love and passion for the sake of material wealth and a junk lifestyle.
This was to be the last film that Emin Toprak would make, as soon after the filming of Uzak was completed he died in a car accident, at 28 years of age.
Tom Dawson of BBC describes the film as "richly contemplative and languid filmmaking" and added "Few recent films have been so accomplished in capturing the way people drift through their lives, unable to communicate their emotions and feelings."3 David Sterritt of The Christian Science Monitor describes it as a "unassuming, acutely observant drama."4
- Uzak at the Internet Movie Database
- Uzak at Rotten Tomatoes
- Review of Distant at Blogcritics
- Uzak: A film review