Yavuz (55) and Neşe (32) is a couple who sing pop songs of 70’s in seaside resorts during summer and in different towns of Anatolia during winter. They have been working together for fourteen years in boredom and mediocrity. This winter, Yavuz and Neşe come to Yozgat which is a small town in the middle of Anatolia. In their first days of arrival, they meet with Sabri (30) who is a barber foreman. Sabri has been a barber for twenty years and he doesn’t have anyone in this life except for his grandmother. Sabri has two goals in this life: to get married and to open up a barber shop of his own. Sabri starts to do Yavuz and Neşe’s hair and after awhile, he becomes their hairdresser and guide in town. Yavuz is a man of principles who is very neat, strict and reticent. In contrast with, Sabri rakes up the life of others with all his naivety. Neşe gets drawn to Sabri causing jealousy on the part of Yavuz after long years. Yavuz is anxious, feeling he might be losing Neşe. For Sabri, Neşe is like a whole new world outside the mediocrity of provincial life. Thinking that Yavuz is the main obstacle between him and Neşe, Sabri gets into a strange state of mind concerning Yavuz. It is now time for a decision for Neşe. Will she decide on to stay with Yavuz despite of all his distant manners; or will she choose Sabri who is trying to give his support for her small dreams, although she had just met him. Which side would become dominant when a woman meets with two different men who touch upon different facets of her soul? Along with this, Yozgat Blues tells the story of feelings which become grand in the world of small people; the difficult situations people stuck into when they play music inconsistent with a small town’s taste; and people’s struggle to hang on to life.
- FIPRESCI Prize - Warsaw IFF
- Best Actor - Istanbul IFF
- Domaine Boyar Award for Best Balkan Film - Sofia IFF
- Cinelink-Eurimages Award - Sarajevo FF
- Ercan Kesal
- Tansu Biçer
- Ayça Damgacı
- Nadir Sarıbacak
- Kevork Malikyan
- Tarık Tufan
- Mahmut Fazıl Coskun
- Baris Özbiçer
- Çiçek Kahraman
Considering the recent sociological developments, “life in province” is still an insufficiently discussed matter in Turkish Cinema. Yet, I believe that there are many profound stories waiting to be conveyed in province. The volatility of human nature procreates different behaviors depending on different fictions of spatiality. Every space has different effects on human psyche. Yozgat Blues is a film which contemplates on province from such a perspective. It conveys its story from a genuine point of view, through an episode extracted from the lives of some provincial characters; it narrates the variances of human nature over their drama. The new province is actually a reflection of a cultural and sociological image present in the big cities which is called slum. Province couldn’t generate an authentic language for its own cultural life, instead became a cheap copy of what it sees in the cities. In this way, province could neither become urbanite nor reflects the cultural codes of country; this in- between-ness becomes its burden and corrupts the culture of its everyday life. The hypocritical morality that stems from this corruption is also an outcome of this in-between-ness. Yozgat Blues is also concerned with the morality aspect of the matter. Yozgat is a town which has these basic features I have been indicating. Although officially it is a city, when we consider its population, economic conditions and cultural life, it is really a socio-cultural geography which is left in-between. I chose the city of Yozgat as the location of the film which represents the very nature of province. In such an environment like province what kind of stories develops in people’s life? What kind of feelings emerge out of the contact of province as an atmosphere with the souls of human? What kind of situations occur when people from a different culture and perception encounters with such a city’s life? On the one hand, Yozgat Blues are also asking these questions. One of the main characters of the film is a barber headworker living in province. Barber shops are places which reflect the agenda of the city and average knowledge, experience and emotional condition of its habitants. I believe it is important to point the camera at a barber shop in order to see the rhizomatic structures of the stories. To be on watch of what is going on in this barber shop is to be in watch of what is going on in the unrecorded everyday life of this city. The reason I would like to highlight province is because it opens up the opportunity to convey the overall state of mind that is experienced in the broader part of this country. Province is like one of the characters in this film. Forasmuch it has the power to affect structural features of the story and the life of the characters. The other two characters in the film are a man and a woman singer who came to province. This would give the opportunity to tell the story over different, urbanite characters and convey comparative stories. Set in this sociological space which still could not became urbanized in the middle of Anatolia, the main story of the film is based upon the meeting of a barber headworker and a music group singing popular songs of 1970s in the city night club. The mood of the film will stem from the things that will follow this meeting and the way it alters the world of this barber headworker. Also the story of these two singers who encounter with a new atmosphere in this city will be another plot that the story will follow attentively. The realistic style that will be employed in Yozgat Blues is the necessity of its story. Especially details from the everyday life of the city and its inhabitants will be important elements to build up this style. That is why a long period of field research and dramaturgy study will be required to capture those details. The camera style will be in accordance with the overall realism of the style the narrative employs. It will provide the opportunity of watching the film from a third eye. This camera style will also give the opportunity to convey the story in a plain and simple mood freed from the constraints of vanity. My aim is first to conceive the matter from such a perspective, and then to convey it in accordance. The style of cinematography in general, designating the filming locations and the directing of actors will also support the overall simplicity in the style of the film. Yozgat Blues is a film which reflects the moral and social conditions at a larger scale, while narrating a story that seems to be telling the insignificant details from the everyday life of these people. My primary goal is to show the rupture that becomes apparent in province over its effects on individual lives.
- HOKUS FOCUS
...succeeds in capturing a bittersweet mood that will haunt viewers.
Coskun observes this peculiar relationship but never tries to intrude or impose on it, and allows it to develop naturally without any interference.
I have a difficulty dealing with the realty.
Filmmaking helps me dealing with it by creating a reality of its own.
Mahmut Fazil Coskun (1973, Turkey) studied film at UCLA and Istanbul Bilgi University. He has been working as a documentary and commercial filmmaker since 2000. Wrong Rosary was his directorial debut, winning a Tiger Award at 2009 International Film Festival Rotterdam and Best Director at the 2009 Adana Film Festival. In 2010, he directed the documentary drama Architect Sinan. Coskun’s second fiction feature film, Yozgat Blues, had its world premiere at the 2013 San Sebastian Film Festival, going on to win awards at several other festivals which included 2013 Warsaw FF Fipresci Award and Best Balkan Film at 2014 Sofia IFF.