Boston Turkish Film Festival Review: Nurcan Eren Makes Suna Work

The Boston Turkish Film Festival ran from Friday, 3/24 through Sunday, 3/26 at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and c0ntinues through 4/29 virtually. Click here for the schedule and ticket info, and watch the site for Joshua Polanski’s continuing coverage!

I’ve always found it insightful to consider who a book or film is dedicated to. It’s less common in film, a medium in which there is no singular artist to dictate the dedication in the same way as an author. That doesn’t stop director Çiğdem Sezgin and the rest of the creative team of Suna from dedicating their film to Cüneyt Cebenoyan, a Leftist film critic killed in a car accident in 2019. As far as I can tell, Cebenoyan played no role in the making of the film, although there is a film critic character who may or may not be inspired by him—I’m too ignorant to know for certain, but this seems logical. I don’t see this often in cinema: a dedication to someone not part of the filmmaking process itself. 

A brief detour into the life story of Cebenoyan, who spent more than a year in prison for his Leftist politics following the 1980 coup, and by all accounts seems to have been one of Türkiye’s most original critics (in both film and politics), lets viewers know something about Suna, a film about the poor titular woman who marries a recent widower in a small town because it seemed like a better option than going homeless. The dedication, which doesn’t come until the film’s conclusion, signals a filmmaker appreciative of media criticism and, well, Leftist…not that it’s difficult to parse anyways.

Continue reading at the Boston Hassle.

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