Times and Winds



Kino International

NEW YORK -- On first glance, Reha Erdem's "Times and Winds" could easily be mistaken as "lyrical," but that would be to belie the harshness at its center.

This ambling portrait of three young teens living in a remote Turkish village doesn't quite possess the deep emotional pungency to which it aspires, but it contains more than a few haunting moments along the way. The film is playing an exclusive theatrical run at New York's Anthology Film Archives.

The film, a multiple prize-winner at the Istanbul Film Festival, depicts the interactions among Omer (Ozkan Ozen), Yakup (Ali Bey Kayali) and their female friend Yildiz (Elit Iscan), all in their early teens and experiencing troubled relationships with their parents. Omer's father, the village's well-respected imam, treats him disdainfully, incurring his young son's practically murderous wrath. Yakup, who nurtures a crush on the beautiful local schoolteacher, becomes deeply resentful of his father when he spots him spying on her through a window. Yildiz also becomes traumatized when she accidentally sees her parents having sex.

Divided into five chronologically reversed sections corresponding to the times of the day when Islamic prayers are uttered, the film matter-of-factly observes the youngsters' mundane activities, from watching animals copulating to marveling at a solar eclipse to performing the many chores to which they have been assigned. But permeating the sleepy daily rhythms is a palpable undercurrent of tension fostered by the severe disconnect between the generations.

As might be expected, the film looks beautiful, its elegant compositions well capturing the natural beauty of the landscape. Adding to the emotional effect is the powerful musical score, composed of excerpts from symphonies by famed modern composer Arvo Part.