Dormitory 2023


Directed by Nehir Tuna Fresh

This rebellious debut plasters teenage angst across a politically and religiously charged critique of the systems forced upon children before they’ve even had the chance to form their own opinions.

Aug 17

Hollywood Avondale

Turkey In Turkish with English subtitles
118 minutes DCP/Colour and B&W
Violence, sexual references & offensive language

Director, Screenplay


Tanay Abbasoğlu, Dorothe Beinemeier, Thierry Lenouvel


Florent Herry


Ayris Alptekin

Production Designer

Vahhap Ayhan

Costume Designer

Didem Ellialtı


Avi Medina


Doğa Karakaş, Can Bartu Arslan, Ozan Çelik, Tansu Biçer, Didem Ellialtı, Orhan Güner, Işilti Su Alyanak


Venice 2023


Turkey, 1996. Ahmet (Doğa Karakaş) is a 14-year-old high school student who, like all his peers, attends the flag raising ceremony celebrating President Atatürk every morning and learns English at school. At night, however, he goes back to an Islamic dormitory (or yurt), sent there against his will by his father, an entrepreneur with political affiliations, to learn the doctrine of the Qur’an and pray in Arabic. At a time when Turkey is strongly shifting towards secularism (“Is Atatürk bigger, or God?”, asks a little girl), Ahmet shamefully conceals his stay at the dormitory from his daytime classmates and suffers the bars of what he feels like a suffocating prison. As he navigates his awakening sexuality, floating between a daytime crush for classy Sevinç (Işilti Su Alyanak) and the comforting bond with his best pal Hakan (Can Bartu Aslan), an orphan studying and working at the yurt, Ahmet plans his own attempts at rebellion.  

Sharply shot in pristine black and white, Nehir Tuna’s debut Dormitory potently illustrates the rebellious stance of his protagonist (arrestingly played by the magnetic Karakaş) with energetic, vibrant direction, underscoring an ebullient rage. It will remind some of Jean Vigo’s 1933 boarding school classic Zéro de conduite or of Marco Bellocchio’s provocatively anti-family, anti-religion Fists in the Pocket. But Tuna’s declared inspiration is François Truffaut’s delightful The 400 Blows, as he reportedly plans to follow Ahmet’s apprenticeship to life, as Truffaut did with his iconic recurring character Antoine Doinel, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud. After this dazzling first chapter, we can’t wait to see what is coming next! — Paolo Bertolin