Opening 17 Apr 2014
Pelin Esmer’s story circles around the small town of Tosya near the Black Sea. It opens with two individuals who are escaping their pasts and moving in a direction to start a new path. Seher (Nilay Erdonmez) has escaped from the next major city where she was studying literature and has taken on a job as a tour guide on the local bus route of Tosya. She sleeps in a small room at the bus station and has become the responsibility of the bus driver and the restaurant tour organizer. She collects her money, reads her literature and waits. No one really understands her since she is working and not studying and most importantly not contacting her family like a good daughter should. The other is Nihat (Olgun Simsek), who has taken up the job of working high in the mountains in a watchtower. His job is to search for possible fires set off by thunderstorms which are prevalent to the region. As their fate begins to slowly weave together, their dark secrets emerge to the point that they are both confronted with their unbearable pasts.
The cinematography takes us deep into the Turkish mountains and explores the cultural aspects of this Turkish region. It also reveals the difficulties that face an unwed Turkish woman and, unlike other films, gives a sympatric face to a Turkish man who chooses not to follow a conservative path like many others. Watchtower has won many awards from at least nine different countries, including Germany and the United States. This is a film worthy of being watched, so don’t miss it. (Shelly Schoeneshoefer)