Zeki Demirkubuz's latest movie, Nausea, tells the story of well-to-do academic/intellectual, Ahmet. As an individual who acts as if he has ‘has never felt’, and ‘prefers not to remember’ the pain of personal tragedy, Ahmet inhabits a society that acts as if it ‘has never felt’ and doesn’t wish to remember the pain of collective tragedy. He is portrayed as an insensitive, unfeeling, loveless man with a hard-boiled take on life. So much so that, when the wife and daughter he was poised to leave are killed in a car accident, life is just business as usual as far as Ahmet is concerned; he has no compunction about carrying on his bedroom antics with women far younger than himself just as he did before. We have here a petit bourgeois intellectual who suggests ‘A Hero of Our Times’; a man unable to communicate any emotion to the lover he brings home the first evening his wife is gone; whose behaviour clearly derives from weakness, not strength and who is ultimately abandoned again. He is the archetypal ‘man in a void’ who reads Radikal newspaper every day, but is never seen to have the slightest opinion on everyday politics (apart from a small point in one scene)… He is a man ‘without response or resonance’ who answers almost every question put to him with the words ‘what do you mean…’ or ‘what does that mean’ in a bid to buy time. The only thing that seems to anchor Ahmet to humanity is the presence of the resident caretaker, a widow who cleans for him and struggles to keep going in the basement apartment with her two children. (…) The scenes where Ahmet is ‘locked’ in a room at his (second) lover’s house are one of the highpoints of the film that sums up its whole ethos. Demirkubuz is levelling bold, defiant and harsh criticism at the intellectual crowd who hide behind frosted glass, content just to ‘listen’ to the scenes playing out just beyond, to avoid all involvement in anything and to keep quiet even in the face of despotism.
2- Turkey 2015
21st Festival on Wheels