(Hudutlarin Kanunu,Turkey/1966) by Lüfti Ö. Akad
Written by: Lüfti Akad, Yilmaz G Üney; Editing: Ali Ün. Director of Photography: Ali Uğur. Original Music by: Ali Uğur. Produced by: Dadaş Film, shot in Yildiz Film Studios. Starring: Yilmaz Güney (Hidir), Pervin Par (Ayse, the teacher), Hikmet Olgun (Yusuf), Erol Taş (Ali Cello), Tuncel Kurtiz (Bekir), Osman Alyanak (Dervis Aga), Aydemir Akbas (Abuzer), Atilla Erg ün (Zeki, first lieutenant). Running time: 74’; b&w. Country of Production:
Turkey Language: Turkish with French and English subtitles From: Dadaş Film.
Restored in 2011 by the World Cinema Foundation at Cineteca di Bologna/L’Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory.
Turkish cinema in sixties took place in a dream world. The movies of that era refused to look directly at Turkish society. Hudutların Kanunu, on which Yılmaz Güney met director Lütfi Ömer Akad, is one of the movies that changed this state of affairs. Akad’s genuine creative vision influenced Güney’s style as an actor: one can easily see the difference in Güney’s acting before and after Hudutların Kanunu. Akad’s influence was a positive one. . .
Güney’s natural performance marked a change in Turkish Cinema. This was the beginning of what would later be called “New Cinema” in Turkey. With its powerful cinematography and its direct and realistic depiction of social problems, Hudutların Kanunu is one of the early milestones of Turkish cinema. Given the manner of storytelling and the style of photography, one might almost say that Akad’s film is a Western.
Hudutların Kanunu depicts vital problems in the society of South East Turkey. Lack of education, no agriculture, and unemployment compelled people to live by the “law of the border” (Hudutların Kanunu) – in other words, smuggling. Hudutların Kanunu underlines the importance of education, which is the crucial element of socio-economical progress in third world countries. It also helps us to understand the reasons behind the ongoing, veiled war along Turkey’s South East border. Forty five years ago, Lütfi Ömer Akad was alerting Turkish society of the likely consequences if preventive measures are not taken in time. He alerted us with a great and lasting film, Hudutların Kanunu.
(Fatih Akin, May 2011)
Ömer Lüfti Akad’s Hudutların Kanunu comes as a revelation to first-time viewers – a work of great visual and dramatic force, of terrific purity and ferocity. It was made during the year that its star and co-screenwriter, Yilmaz Güney, made his own directing debut. And it’s not surprising for first time viewers to learn that this stunning collaboration marked a shift in Turkish cinema, and ushered in what became known as “the director generation.” Once again, the World Cinema Foundation’s advisory board member Fatih Akin has brought us a great and inspirational film.
(Kent Jones, May 2011)
Notes on the restoration
The restoration of Hudutlarin Kanunu was made possible through the use a positive print provided by Nil Gurpinar, daughter of the film’s producer, and held by the Turkish Ministry of Culture.
As this print is the only known copy to survive the Turkish Coup d’Etat in 1980 – all other film sources were seized and destroyed – the restoration required a considerable amount of both physical and digital repair. The surviving print was extremely dirty, scratched, filled with mid-frame splices and sadly missing several frames. Although the film was shot in black and white, it was also printed on color stock resulting in significant decay. The restoration work produced a new 35mm dupe negative.
The World Cinema Foundation would like to specially thank Fatih Akin for recommending this title, and Ali Akdeniz and Nurhan Sekerci for facilitating the restoration process.