Man's Fear Of God, A

Takva (Takva – A Man’s Fear of God) has already garnered considerable critical acclaim, winning the inaugural Swarovski Cultural Innovation Award at Toronto this year and a further eight awards at the Antalya Film Festival. As such, the film marks an impressive comeback for the Yeni Sinemacılar team, who have been off the production radar for the last four years. In their earlier work, the team built a reputation for reworking Turkey’s social problems at the individual level; this time, they take up the theme of Islamic sects. ‘Takva’, one of the principal concepts of Islamic teaching, roughly translates as a fear of God and abstinence from sin. The film itself explores the conflicts implied by possessing ‘takva’ in contemporary life. In researching the story, Önder Çakar, who won best screenplay award at Antalya, spent a lot of time in Fatih (a particularly conservative area of Istanbul) visiting sects and attending litanies. And some of the most talked about scenes in the film are those featuring litanies, which were shot on the back of this research. Muharrem, the central character, is played by Erkan Can, who picked up best actor award at Antalya for his performance. Muharrem leads an exceptionally simple life, living alone in a small wooden house inherited from his family. He works in a sack trader’s workshop, as he has since his father sent him there as a child, and attends regular rituals at the convent of his chosen Islamic sect. Muharrem’s indifference towards the material things of life, his sense of duty and unquestioning commitment to his faith are noticed by the Sheikh of the convent, who assigns him the task of collecting rent money owing to the sect. But the task drags Muharrem towards ethical dilemmas which irreversibly upset the balance of his tiny universe. Takva – A Man’s Fear of God is a powerful character study that aims to create a platform for discussion rather than posit a definitive view. Gözde Onaran
Germany Turkey
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2006


Script
Önder Çakar

Cinematography
Soykut Turan

Editing
Andrew Bird
Niko

Production
Yeni Sinemacılar

Cast
Engin Günaydın
Erkan Can
Erman Saban
Güven Kıraç
Meray Ülgen
Öznur Kula
Settar Tanrıöğen Murat Cemcir

Music
Gökçe Akçelik

Festivals
12th Festival on Wheels
EUROPE EUROPE