International

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Director: DIRECTOR: SIRRI ONDER AND MULHARREM GULMEZ

One of the best of a recent clutch of Turkish movies dealing openly with the military junta years, International is an entertaining ensemble piece (comments Variety critic Derek Elley) centered on a band of Eastern Anatolian musicians that uses a gentle, almost Czech-like irony to point up the period’s lunacies. Mock-dramatic opening sees the military descend at night on a truck, only to find it’s full of gevende (traditional street musicians). They’re all arrested as suspected leftists, including one Tekin, who is traveling to join a local band run by a violinist friend, Abuzer.

It’s 1982, after the right-wing military coup. Abuzer and his raggedy fellow players are already having to change their repertoire under the dictates of the local commander, who also makes them dress in old French Legionnaires costumes. But with no other musicians around, he puts Abuzer and Tekin in charge of setting up a nightclub for officers and insisting they play military anthems rather than traditional tunes. “And don’t play any separatist shit” adds the commander, referring to the widely-sung communist anthem. From thereon, film heads into winning music combos and surprise romance.

(In Turkish w/ Eng. Subtitles)

TURKEY • 2007 • 102 MINUTES • DIRECTOR: SIRRI ONDER AND MULHARREM GULMEZ

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