Three Monkeys

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"This is a filmmaker whose sheer cinematic IQ pulses from every frame." — Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian
Year: 2008
Country: Turkey
Running time: 109 mins
Screenplay: Ebru Ceylan, Ercan Kesal, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Photography: Gökhan Tiryaki
Editors: Ayhan Ergürsel, Bora Göksingöl, Nuri Bilge Ceylan
In Turkish with English subtitles
M offensive language, sexual themes

With: Yavuz Bingöl, Hatice Aslan, Ahmet Rifat Sungar, Ercan Kesal

Festivals: Cannes (In Competition) 2008

Best Director, Cannes Film Festival 2008

"An ostensibly routine noir-style psychological thriller vaults into the realms of high art in Cannes competition contender [and eventual Best Director award winner] Three Monkeys. Cannes has been kind to Turkey‘s Nuri Bilge Ceylan in the past, with Uzak and Climates establishing his auteur credentials in 2003 and 2006. His new film represents a bold departure from his past style: it‘s best described as introspective melodrama, yet both visually and tonally, it‘s still quintessential Ceylan. For the first time, Ceylan really involves himself in narrative complexity, spinning a subtly-twisty yarn with echoes of such crime writers as Simenon and James M. Cain... The film‘s theme, as with so much prime noir, is guilt, and the people who either accept it or try to slough it off. The story starts in moody, night-soaked fashion, with a middle-aged man dozing at the wheel of his car before causing a hit-and-run accident. The perpetrator is Servet, a politician who fears that the accident will affect his election chances. He therefore persuades his driver Eyüp (Bingöl, best known in Turkey as a folk singer) to take the rap, in exchange for a payoff that will keep his family financially secure... Like previous Ceylan films, this one looks long and hard into the mysteries and self-destructive contradictions of the human heart, but the film‘s sombre, arguably pessimistic bent also finds room for Ceylan‘s blackly sardonic humour." — Jonathan Romney, Screendaily

"If you thought Ceylan‘s photographer‘s eye produced stunning images in Climates, Three Monkeys pushes the envelope still further. See it - and marvel!" — Geoff Andrew, Time Out

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