Bezar’s debut ‘Min Dît’ a worthy watch at İstanbul festival

A scene from the drama “Min Dît,” directed by Kurdish-born filmmaker Miraz Bezar.

April 14, 2010, Wednesday/ 16:33:00
Running in the national feature competition at this year’s İstanbul International Film Festival comes “Min Dît/Ben Gördüm” (The Children of Diyarbakır), the debut feature by Miraz Bezar, co-produced by Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akın.The film premiered during last year’s Antalya Golden Orange Film Festival, where it received the grand jury prize.

Perhaps not a perfect film, though such should be accepted of a debut, “Min Dît” is a raw and genuine story about a Kurdish family living in Turkey’s southeastern province of Diyarbakır. Ten-year-old Gülistan and younger brother Fırat are the happy children of a Kurdish journalist and his wife, until that horrible day when they witness the murder of their parents by a paramilitary organization. For a while Gülistan, Fırat and their baby sister are taken care of by their aunt, but when she also disappears suddenly, the children have to fend for themselves.

“Min Dît” might be a personal story, but Turkey is no stranger to its premise; it is successful in bringing to light the plight of many children orphaned in Turkey’s southeastern Anatolia region due to political conflicts. Make no mistake, this is a tragic tale, but it comes out as truthful as it can and should be, despite Bezar’s occasional inclination toward an idealist reductionism on political issues.

A worthy watch, “Min Dît” deserves special attention by the İstanbul festival audience since the film is currently only playing in limited release outside of İstanbul in Ankara, Van, Diyarbakır, Mersin and Urfa.

Runs 102 minutes; in Kurdish with subtitles in Turkish and English.

Showings: Wednesday 7 p.m. at the Atlas Theater

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