Times and Winds: from Turkey

“Times and Winds” takes place at a small and poor Turkish village, a haunting space flanked between high rocky mountains and breathtaking sea.

The villagers are simple and diligent people who struggle to cope with a harsh nature. They earn their living out of the earth and animals they feed. And just like the animals and trees around them, these people have the knowledge of their temporal existence, hence the prevailing sense of resignation.

Mer, Yakup and Yldz, children of about 12 and 13 years old, live their childhood in this village. mer, the son of the Imam, wishes hopelessly for the death of his father. When he understands that wishful thinking doesn’t translate into concrete results, he begins to search for ways to kill his father, while sharing his ideas with his friend Yakup.

Yakup is in love with his teacher, but hides his feelings even from his best friend mer. But when he sees his own father spying on the beloved teacher, he starts dreaming, like mer, of killing his father as well.

Yldz struggles to study and manage the household – duties imposed by her own mother. She tries to be a mother for her baby brother, but fails at almost every turn. On the other hand, she learns with irritation about the secrets of the relationship between men and women.

The daily time is divided into five parts by the sound of the call to prayer. Every day, all human events are lived within these five time slices. In child raising, grownups go on with the practice they have experienced by their parents. They display their love awkwardly; fathers always prefer one of their sons and mothers command their daughters ruthlessly. This is the setting of “Times and Winds.”

Director’s Statement

“Times and Winds” is a movie about time; the rhythm of time is the rhythm of the movie. It is a movie about three children captured by the flow of time in a village stuck between earth and sea, rocks and sky. There, a bell ring punctuates life according to the sun’s movement, slicing the day into five times.

Prayers whispered five times a day, revolve like the sun, the moon and seasons, exposing five parts of humanity–that is, their five states of mind. Every encounter causes a new pain: the pain
of growing up, of maturing, of getting old. This is the tragedy.

The movie aims at accompanying this tragedy within a special site, and also at making faces and bodies, words and sounds flow in the purity and freshness of this specific space, within its own cinematic time. The aim is to be the witness of this very pain.

“Times and Winds” was shot in the village of Kozlu/Ayvack between September 24th and October 29th 2005. The locations of the film were inside the village of Kozlu and its hills like Gzele_me, Bakacak Kayas, Gedik, imenli Kran, Yarkl Kaya. The transportation to the hills was provided by horses and donkeys. The crew of the film lived in the village during the shoot. The
people of the village were very attentive to the needs of the crew.

The houses used in the film were shot in their original setting. The school of the village which
was shot down when the education system changed, was repainted and redecorated for the film. The rainy scenes of the film were shot by a special water system that drew water from tanks, fire trucks and fountains. More then 150 animals were used for the shoot. zkan zen, Ali Bey Kayal and Elit Iscan who played the main characters were selected after a long search among thousands of children. Except Elit Iscan, who is from Istanbul, all the children who worked in the film are from the region. During the shoot, special permissions were granted to the children from their schools in order to play in the film.