- In Retrospect
A lonely watchtower, surrounded by dense coniferous forest in the cloud-capped mountains of the Black Sea coast. This is the setting of the forced companionship of two damaged souls trying to escape their past. In order to forget what happened, Nihat has retreated to this place to lead the lonely existence of a fire watchman. However, he is unable to stop blaming himself for a terrible car crash. Only very rarely does he climb down into the valley to visit a remote road service area. On one occasion, he meets Seher, a beautiful student hiding from her family with her baby, struggling along as a travel companion and waitress. She, too, harbours a dark secret. Finally, Nihat and his hideaway become her last hope. “Situation normal”, he confirms repeatedly to his colleagues when no forest fire is in sight. But what is normal about this situation are just the patriarchal system and the conservative moral values of rural Anatolia. As in her former work, often in the form of documentaries, Pelin Esmer shows her sure feeling for the lingering social problems and suppressed emotions in her home country also in Watchtower. The result: a gripping character study told with sensitivity, showing powerful acting without stylistic frills.
Olgun Şimşek, Nilay Erdönmez, Menderes Samancılar, Kadir Çermik, Laçin Ceylan
Turkey, France, Germany 2012
Turkish with Engl. UT