Yilmaz Güney, Part I - Yol (1982)

No, that isn't Sean Connery carrying Isabella Rossellini.

Spanning January and February, the TIFF Bell Lightbox is running a retrospective of Turkish director Yilmaz Güney, best known for his international and Cannes-winning hit Yol (1982).

The retro, The Way Home: The Films of Turkish Master Yilmaz Güney,  consists of 8 films: Hope, The Herd, Yol, The Poor Ones, Elegy, Bride of the Earth, The Hungry Wolves, and The Friend, and with the exception of a French Region 2 DVD release of Yol, apparently none of his films are available on video in North America (and probably the same in Europe, Yol excepted).

Güney's case may be a classic situation of a lauded, respected filmmaker who died too young - he passed away 2 years after Yol's release - and missed the window of a home video retrospective via labels like Criterion, Connoisseur, or others. His films may exist on DVD in Turkey, but in terms of his work as an actor and director with English subs, what's out there is nil, making this occasion quite special. That isn't to say there would'nt have been an interest in his work; rather, he didin't make enough films after 1982 to give western labels material to build their own catalogue of titles for widespread VHS release over several years.

For example, many of Ingmar Bergman's early films were available on VHS via Nelson and Embassy, and dubbed or subtitled, those old tapes permitted a level of penetration that at least made viewers aware of Bergman's early work. With Güney, there's nothing out there for the interested to grab on video at all, so it was hard for fans, let alone interested distributors, to know exactly what existed for potential English language exploitation.

I've uploaded a review of Yol [M] and details of the screened print, and the full schedule of the 8 films is up at the TBL site. They're only being screened once, making this a rare treat for fans who've been waiting for a Criterion-styled release that just hasn't happened (yet).



Mark R. Hasan, Editor
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