The Visitor

Not available for screening anymore

The Visitor (Misafir)

Directed by Mehmet Eryılmaz

  • Turkey 2015; 125 min
  • Original version: Turkish
  • Genre: Drama
    • FIPRESCI Award (International Competition), Special Grand Jury Award - The Montreal World FF

  • The world premiere of the film didn’t take place at the Istanbul FF due to the cancellation of all competitions and its screenings.


“Some say about the fate of any girl ‘like mother, like daughter’. But, Mum, I swear to God that my little girl’s fate will be nothing like mine.” - Nur
Ten years after being kicked out of her parents’ home, Nur hurries back to her father’s world when she receives news that her mother is ailing. She wants to see and reconcile with her mother before it is too late. While the universal theme of mother-daughter relationships lies at the centre of THE VISITOR, this is underpinned by an allusive subtext of incest, one of most common but least addressed social problems in Turkey. The individual stories of the family members combine with a sense of hope fuelled by tragedy to paint a portrait of the socially disconnected.

Director's Statement

As an independent filmmaker and seasoned producer-director, I attach more importance to the concept of a filmmaking vision than specifically to a producer’s view.
Six years ago I described my previous film, A FAIRGROUND ATTRACTION, as a story of the socially disconnected. In a sense, this is also true of my new film, THE VISITOR. However, what I would add to give a more rounded picture of the film is the idea of hope built on tragedy, as referred to by Hungarian director, Béla Tarr.
While the universal theme of mother-daughter relationships lies at the centre of the THE VISITOR, I also deal with the widespread problem of incest as a subtext. I should make the point that my approach to filmmaking is no different from my approach to life. That is to say, if cinema is not based on humanity, and does not have at its core humanity and the unfathomable corridors of the human soul, then it amounts at best to a piece of celluloid or video tape.
Art, for me, is a personal adventure; and if it must incorporate a social aspect, this could be at most to help in some small way to liberate audience perceptions from conventional patterns and to open up new horizons. I see the idea of new horizons as having many dimensions. It covers all the values that make us human, all doors free of dogma, and at the same time as a spiritual meaning the Sanskrit mantra, ‘Om mani padme hum’. In short, opening up new horizons could be defined as contributing to the process of a person genuinely knowing him/herself.



    Mehmet Eryılmaz