Sivas shines as a film revealing the painful part of growing up, but also as a mini-portrait of Turkey. Eleven-year-old Aslan is aware that he inhabits a harsh man’s world which has no sympathy for losers and no place for feelings. He knows that survival in this world relies on using the language of violence. But his reason for rescuing an abandoned fighting dog is neither to win his way into this man’s world, nor to show off to the girl he is sweet on. He wants to heal the psychological wound left by the old horse he was made abandon by his father and big brother. Even if he knows that the dog’s fighting prowess will give him special status in the village, he is troubled by dogfights. In any case, the quality that makes him a screen hero is his ability to listen to his conscience despite neighborhood pressure.

Kaan Müjdeci tracks Aslan like a documentary filmmaker with a close-up camera permanently on the move. And Doğan İzci less acts the part of Aslan than lives it, as if the camera isn’t there at all. His performance is astonishing, particularly in the scene where he loses his temper and climbs onto the roof. The final scene is also excellent in its poignant portrayal of Aslan’s inner conflicts and cares. Sivas is a film that subtly highlights the contradiction between compassion and the male ideology dominant in society.

Mehmet Açar

Germany Turkey

Kaan Müjdeci

Kaan Müjdeci

Armin Dierolf
Martin Hogsnes Solvang

Yorgos Mavropsaridis

Kaan Film

Born Scouts
Adult tunes
Furkan Alert
Hasan Ozdemir
Muttalip Herald
Ozan Steel

Cevdet Erek

Best Editing Antalya
Special Jury Award Best Editing Antalya

20th Festival on Wheels
Turkey 2014