Herd, The

The Herd

Written by Yılmaz Güney and directed by Zeki Ökten, The Herd is the story of a nomadic Anatolian family on the verge of break down. There is blood feud between two families, Şivan, married to the daughter of the rival family -Berivan- is not favored by his father, Hamo Agha, anymore. Berivan, who lost all three of her babies, is mute; having lost her ability to speak because of the consecutive traumas. But Şivan will not let go of his wife who is hated by his father because of the belief that she brings misfortune to the family. The family loads the herd of sheep into a train en route Ankara where the animals will be sold. Consisting of three parts, the relations in the family, the journey with the train and the events in Ankara making up the finale, The Herd has achieved the level of an epic, successfully representing Turkish cinema in the international festivals. The story starts in the wilderness of Southeastern Turkey, develops in the train, one of the most interesting road film setups in cinema history, and becomes more exciting as the family arrives in Ankara. The turning point in the story surfaces when Şivan takes his wife and leaves the family. Ökten cynically looks into scenes of ordinary life in a country which is in turmoil due to political assassinations and rapid social change in which new and more individualistic values arise. Both Hamo Agha and Şivan’s hopes are buried in Ankara. From the first frame onwards this Güney-Ökten cooperation displays just how destructive human beings can be. Graced by the performances of Tuncel Kurtiz, Tarık Akan, and Melike Demirağ as well as the entire cast, the film’s success was also marked by Izzet Akay’s cinematography and Zülfü Livaneli’s music; all of which contributed to the Best Film and Best Actress awards at the Locarno Film Festival. Tunca Aslan

Turkey
125'
1979

Director
Zeki Ökten

Script
Yılmaz Güney

Cinematography
Izzet Akay

Editing
Özdemir Arita

Production
Güney Filmcilik A.Ş. Sakızağacı Cad. Guney Han No: 2/1

Cast
Melike Demirağ
Meral Niron
Will Pull
Tuncel Kurtiz
Yaman Okay

Music
Omer Zülfü Livaneli

Awards
Best Actress Locarno o Most Original and Imaginative Film London o Grand Prize Antwerp o Grand Prize Valencia o Belgian Film Critics' Award
OCIC Award Berlin o Golden Leopard
Otto Dibelius Film Award

Festivals
3rd Festival on Wheels
5th Festival on Wheels
9th Festival on Wheels
BEST ON TURKISH FILM
ACTOR: TUNCEL KURTİZ