Yol is one of the masterpieces of Turkish cinema, and is the brainchild of the director Yilmaz Güney, who throughout his troubled career spent long stretches of time in prison, having been arrested on several occasions as a "communist agitator". Much of Yol was made while Güney was in jail, and the production followed the instructions that he smuggled out to his colleagues from the his prison cell. Not surprisingly, imprisonment provides the central theme of the film. Five prisoners are given a week's leave from jail, and we follow them and observe how they fare during their brief release from captivity. The film carries political messages for those who want to read them as such, but as much as anything else, it is about the imprisonment of modernity by the blind forces of tradition (it was after all made over 25 years ago, when Turkey was in the midst of a painful transition from backwardness to modern economic growth). Yol is a wonderful and often harrowing commentary on the human condition, regardless of the period in which it was made. It should be required viewing for all students of economic development and cultural anthropology, who will learn a lot, and find much to admire. Prison warders, real and metaphorical, will hate it and will resolutely refuse to understand its central meaning.