Zwischenstopp in der Sonne. Bub Ali (Emir Ali Dog˘rul) und Mehmet (Çag˘atay Ulusoy).
Innsbruck – This film of Turkish origin available via Netflix is out of the question as a feel-good film. In “Life is like a piece of paper” (“Kag˘ittan Hayatlar” in the original) director Can Ulkay positions the cameras exactly where people are vegetating, far away from the buttery side of life.
Mehmet (played almost painfully authentically by Çag˘atay Ulusoy) is something like the head of a group of outcasts in a desolate district of Istanbul. No tourist gets lost here, and that’s better that way: The area has been divided up by various clans, homeless children and young men. They fish usable things out of the garbage of the metropolis in order to earn a few Turkish liras. Crossing borders leads to conflicts with fists and knives.
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Outwardly, Mehmet marks the rough leg, but everyone in the neighborhood knows it: a deeply wounded soul has slumbered in him since he was separated from his mother as a child.
This trauma is re-fueled when Mehmet discovers little Ali (Emir Ali Dog˘rul) in the accumulated garbage of the day. The boy has welts all over his body – blows from his father-in-law like those that Mehmet suffered as a child. He takes Ali in and vows to read the riot act properly to his father-in-law before he returns the boys to his mother’s care. But before that, the two treat themselves to a few carefree hours sunbathing and partying in the open air.
Mehmet suffers not only mentally, but also physically: The seriously ill man urgently needs a donor kidney. He saves the money for it from his mouth. Heavy painkillers and tablets are increasingly obscuring its relationship to reality. Mehmet takes refuge in a fantasy world that only he can recognize himself.
Director Ulkay spares neither his actors nor us viewers. “Life is like a piece of paper” is so raw and unvarnished that you can hardly look at it at times. Here life in the dirt of an affluent society, there a pan over the magnificent panorama of the city on the Bosporus. A hard hit with facts. What do you know about the life of those who are at the bottom. (mark)
“Life is Like a Piece of Paper (Kag˘ittan Hayatlar)” is currently on Netflix.