Screened as part of NZIFF 2007

Riza 2007

Directed by Tayfun Pirselimoglu

A down-on-his-luck truck driver is driven to commit a shocking crime, after which he is shaken by remorse, in Turkish director Tayfun Pirselimoglu's Dostoevskian second feature.

Turkey In Turkish with English subtitles
109 minutes 35mm

Director, Screenplay


Colin Mounier


Çiçek Kahraman


Cengiz Onural


Riza Akin
Nurcan Eren


Berlin 2007


The most heart-rending tales are those ‘there but for the grace of god’ stories where terrible things happen to ordinary people. Riza (Riza Akin) is a truck driver barely making ends meet, and when his truck breaks down he’s not even able to pay off the loan he’s taken out on it to survive. With the prospect of losing his meagre livelihood, he goes begging to his ex-girlfriend, Aysel, but she’s been bitterly hurt by him in the past and refuses to help. Moving into a shabby hotel, filled with others in similarly hopeless conditions, Riza sees no way out of his predicament but to commit a shocking crime.

“A Dostoevsky-like atmosphere of doom and gloom hangs heavy over a truck driver pushed to commit a terrible crime and then shaken by remorse… Pirselimoglu, a novelist as well as a painter, communicates great empathy for his characters even in their lowest moments. The horrendous crime Riza commits, for example, springs from a carefully described social context, leaving audiences in limbo about how to judge him.” — Deborah Young, Variety