Turkey 2012, 92 min, Turkish
A convoy of cars, decorated horsemen and the sound of drums and shawms. Men dance, illuminated by the flames from torches; women dance apart from the men. This is a traditional wedding in a remote part of Turkey. It’s an arranged marriage. Neither the bride nor the groom were given a choice. What happens when a much older man is married to a young girl? In his quiet, intimate film, director Resi Çelik succeeds in telling the tragic story of an unusual wedding night – without the strains of a musical score on the soundtrack. The groom has recently been released from prison; he has spent most of his life behind bars on account of two honour killings. This marriage is meant to put an end to a blood feud that has lasted many years. After the ceremony, he finds himself alone with his bride; lifting her veil he looks into the frightened face of a fourteen-year-old girl. He tries to be nice to her, and gentle, but he is a desperate, broken man. She hesitates and tries to use other distractions to get through the night. Night passes and dawn arrives, bringing the relatives with it; all of whom are waiting for the stained bed sheet that will prove that everything is as it should be.