Library of
Design, Art and Idea

Winter Sleep

Vol. 8

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's Cannes award- winner movie, Winter Sleep, is reflecting the confinement of “White Turks" in Anatolian life in the most realistic way. Having completed its scenario along with his wife, Nuri Bilge completed the shooting of the film in 3.5 months.

The Chekhovian attitude, which is present in every drama of Nuri Bilge Ceylan, was blended with Shakespeare in Winter Sleep. Protecting the perfectionist visual aesthetics of Ceylan and reaching a superior level in the fiction, the movie turned into an artwork that gives literary flavour. A very deep criticism was brought on the semi- intellectual of the patriarchal society and their power of perception that never breaks from the feudalism, and the concept of "White Turks". The movie is called "Winter Sleep". The three-and-a- quarter hour drama, giving the name its due, offers the laziness, disturbance of winter sleep and the situation of being always "piggy in the middle" to the audience. In the first sequence, "Winter Sleep" is in the head of Aydın (Haluk Bilginer), and this sleep covers everywhere as is the entire screen with the approach of the camera from the rear. Now, the sleep of Aydın is going to infect the people close to him. If sleep is a state of death when living, the subduer behaviour of Aydın kills the desires of those who are exactly next to him when living. The movie, in sum up; the hotel life to which Aydın, a retired actor, moves his elitist life upon returning to Cappadocia in order to run the heirloom boutique hotel and to keep an eye on the goods handed over from his father. Aydın spends his daily life in this far-off hotel thinking over the book about the history of theatre, which he has always intended to start but somehow failed to do, as well as writing as a columnist for a local newspaper. There are two women during this process. His young wife, Nihal (Melisa Sözen), who gives him the cold should in every manner and keep him at a distance and his sister Necla (Demet Akbağ), who moved their place after the divorce. He is in a leader position of a family that failed to be a family. By intervening with the every moment of the women next to him, He is of opinion to give them freedom and comfort. While criticizing the patriarchal society, commitment to the culture, and religion, he does not concede that he behaves in the most patriarchal way. Aydın can be precisely called as an intellectual that he cannot fully become.
Aydın was a bad husband and a bad brother. The character introduces himself progressively when he talks. The dialogues fit his mouth so perfectly that people are convinced they are the real persons when talking. Nihal, whose anger pours out of her glances, the Sister, who wants what she wants to believe to be the subject of philosophical discussion, and the underdeveloped intellectual of an underdeveloped country, "Aydın". So real characters are they that you feel stuck in the middle of a discussion in your sitting room. So superficially does Aydın look into the events around him that we can precisely perceive the meaning of the name "Winter Sleep". At this very point, "Winter Sleep turns into a merciless movie that makes the intellectuals of our country self-criticize. “Winter Sleep" has possibly been the top dialogue heavy movie of Nuri Bilge Ceylan on which the debates have been established with Ebru Ceylan. Ebru Ceylan is talking about these debates in many places without hesitation. The movie somewhat exceeds the supposed distinctive life of Aydın with that İlyas, son of Aydın tenants who has not paid the rent for a long time, breaks the glass of Aydın's car to react to the injustices- which an enforcement notice was sent to their house- done to his family. The question that no one dares to answer arises in this way, "Why did this boy break this glass". İlyas' uncle, an imam, is afraid, Nihal is afraid, everybody around him is afraid to say the king is naked. Only İlyas and his father have no fear. The father takes his courage from alcohol and the boy from his innocence. All of the adults who have lost their naturality and sincerity along with their own values cannot face themselves until the end of the film, however, they partially open their eyes towards the end of the movie, but nobody wakes up. In the final, "Aydın” starts with a clean state and writes the title "History of Turkish Theatre", this play seems to leave the audience with impression of a history of the theatre that the intellectuals in Turkey that could not become intellectual play. Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the master of metaphorical expression, gave Othello as the name of Aydın's hotel, one cannot help thinking if he made a reference to Othello, by Shakespeare, who has an unhappy marriage. Actually, every scene of the movie harbours a metaphor separately in itself. They cannot be explained separately but I recommend you to watch the movie a few times if you can show patience. It will be possible to discover new things in every view of the movie as in every Nuri Bilge Ceylan movie.
Vol. 8
Yoga in the City Ersa & Design Biennial