Top positive review
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Fine film from Turkey
on 14 April 2009
This film is an involving movie about childhood, by turns mesmeric and shocking. It is set in a mountainous, austerely beautiful region of north-eastern Turkey. Three children in their early teens have much to endure, not merely the harshness of their families' day-to-day lives, gouging a living from the unrewarding soil, but a new, yet harsher reality. As membership of the adult world becomes imminent, they are learning what it means to be second best; to be a woman in a man's world, or to be the son who is not only a favourite son but actively despised by his father.
All these stories are entwined with images and moods that resonate with each other. A striking feature of the picture and one that lends the action its dream-like quality is the recurring, shocking and silent sequences that exist outside the narrative, showing the children immobile, either asleep or actually dead, like corpses or murder victims.
The director, Bes Vakit, in this slow-paced but always gripping account of a world that seems at once familiar but alien, conjures up a scintillating visual study of rural Turkey, a country perched uneasily between East and West, and it's interesting that he chooses western music by Arvo Pärt to illuminate his images, though if I have a criticism of the film it's that the music is a little too insistent and intrusive on occasion.
Times and Winds is a cinematic poem, and a film I highly recommend.