A Netflix Movie by Berkun Oya: Cici

Directed by Berkun Oya, Cici tells the story of a family that faces the past when they reunite in their hometown after 30 years.

Writer and director Berkun Oya’s new movie Cici began to be broadcast on Netflix as of October 27. The movie tells the story of a family that faces the past when they reunite in an Anatolian village in which they once lived in after 30 years for a film shoot. Nur Sürer, Yılmaz Erdoğan, Okan Yalabık, Olgun Şimşek, Ayça Bingöl, Funda Eryiğit and Fatih Artman lead the cast of movie.

Perhaps, even the opening scene of the Cici gives some signals that Berkun Oya will tell a story around the boundaries of memory. The movie begins with a TRT advertisement playing on the one of the first tube TV to come to Turkey, a Mercedes in a small garage of a farmhouse in an Anatolian village, and a camera… The eldest son of family, Kadir (starred by Okan Yalabık) is the most curious of the camera, but his father does not allow him to pick up the camera. This is a small part of the movie that showing Kadir’s passion for the cameras. In the first moments of the movie, we watch early years of the family in their hometown: depressed mother Havva, eldest child Saliha, then other siblings Kadir and Yusuf.

Berkun Oya gives these years in the first half hour of the movie. We see both the present and the past of the family with the film adventure of director Kadir, who returned to the village to shoot a movie after many years. Just as water finds a way and flows through the crevices, memory infiltrates into the narrative. And there is the question of movie: how can different people recall the same past? Berkun Oya does not tell a stereotypical family reckoning; he wanders around the memory and ask a question about the way of recalling. For me, when Saliha asked, “Our childhood was good, wasn’t it Yusuf?”, she marked on whether the years lived in the memory of the three brothers are the same.

Cici is a Berkun Oya movie that makes me think about the possibility or the impossibility of remembering rather than coming to terms with the past, with its frames embracing the plain geography of Anatolia where yellow grass grows.

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