Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Cenk Ertürk’s feature debut is a tense, powerful study of anger and pride. Ali Atay gives a superb performance as Ömer, a man facing the death of his father. Ibrahim (Haluk Bilginer) is gravely ill, and his final wish is that he be buried under a tree he remembers planting near his childhood home. Ömer obligingly drives his dad to the old homestead, only for the two to find that the tree in question has been declared holy. Worshippers come to pay homage, the town benefits from the tourism, and the authorities are quite unwilling to allow Ibrahim’s burial there; their belligerent response pushes Ömer into a dangerous contest of wills…
With its provocative symbolism, its sharp characterizations, and its escalating current of danger, Noah Land is strong stuff. Anchored in the performances of Bilginer and the ever-glowering Atay, graced with fluid cinematography by Federico Cesca, and powerfully directed by Ertürk, it’s a film that grips your attention during its running time and haunts your mind afterwards.
Best Screenplay, Best Actor, International Narrative Competition, Tribeca 19