Men on the Bridge- review

Affecting documentary about lives lived around the Bosphorus in Istanbul, a bridge between east and west. By Andrew Pulver

Andrew Pulver, Thursday 27 January 2011

  1. Men On The Bridge (Koprudekiler)
  2. Production year: 2009
  3. Country: Rest of the world
  4. Cert (UK): 15
  5. Runtime: 87 mins
  6. Directors: Asli Ozge
  7. Cast: Cemile Ilker, Fikret Portakal, Murat Tokgoz, Umut Ilker
  8. More on this film

A poignant, illuminating document from the frontier of the new Europe: a film that – to all intents and purposes – is a documentary portrait of lives that depend in different ways on the Bosphorus bridge, the 1.5km crossing that connects Istanbul's western and eastern halves. Umut has a part-share in a taxi, and is struggling to find a better place to live; Fikret, with little education under his belt, scrapes a living selling roses to passing drivers; Murat is a traffic cop who spends his shift scooping the cars for chicks. Despite the faultless fly-on-the-wall texture of the film, this is actually a scripted piece; and while Umut and Fikret play themselves, Murat is actually the brother of his "character", the Turkish police having apparently refused permission for the participation of the real thing. All in all, this is a carefully modulated plea for tolerance and mutual understanding: even if the story drifts off into oddly illiberal areas, such as the anti-PKK demonstration that climaxes with a rant against the west and Zionism.

affecting: wzruszający

apparently: widocznie

climax: osiągać punkt kulminacyjny

drift off: odpływać

fly-on-the-wall: sposób filmowania dokumentalnych

illuminating: pouczający

modulated: wycieniowany

plea: błaganie

poignant: poruszający, dotkliwy

rant: tyrada

scoop: łowić, wyławiać

scrape a living: zarabiać na życie

shift: zmiana (w pracy)

texture: faktura

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