(Reha Erdem; Turkey/ Bulgaria; 2009)
This is a snow-covered tale of a community who appear to be at odds with a foreign element, but are really at odd with themselves. A man runs towards an un-named Turkish town, saves a boy from drowning, is welcomed by the town's inhabitants, then finds the town constantly shifting their feelings towards him, as they try to work out what kind of person he might be. This man confounds the town and the viewer – is he an idiot savant, a truly gifted healer, a common thief, a prophet, a madman, or all of the above? Over time it seems as the protagonist is caught in a never-ending loop of being trapped by the expectations of others, and has perhaps tied himself up even more by believing in these expectations. The mystery surrounding this unkempt and unusual man is at times fascinating, although his manic howling bird-cry is annoying at times.
The film is wonderfully shot, and feels rich in colour despite a limited palette of browns, whites, greys, and black. The final shot is especially breath-taking, and feels like a distant cousin to the incredible opening shot of Carlos Reygadas' Silent Light.