Iranian producer Ali Nuri Oskui, Turkish director and writer Faysal Soysal, stars Serdar Orçin and Kubra Kip, and Iranian critic Mohammadreza Moqaddasian attended a screening of the film at Tehran’s Charsu Cineplex.
The film, also known as “Walnut Tree”, follows Hayati, a small-town literature teacher and a one-hit-wonder author who tries helplessly to hold on to his past: his shattering marriage, his sick aging mother, a decaying walnut tree and the memory of his father. Instead of moving on with his life and taking control, he passively accepts its blows and is only interested in digging into the past, until his discovery forces him to confront his own weakness.
“A combination of industrial and artistic views in Turkish films has made great progress in the country’s cinema over past few years,” Moqaddasian said during a review session held after the screening of the film.
“Cultural, religious, historical and geographical affinities between Iran and Turkey help the two countries to have a thorough understanding of each other. As a result, a good portion of the Iranian people like Turkish films,” he added.
Moqaddasian praised Soysal for his “fine casting” and said, “The characters are entirely believable. If this were not so, the film, like many others that try to seem artistic, would have failed to convince the audiences.”
On his part, Nuri Oskui called “Silenced Tree” a unique, challenging production, and said, “I deem Soysal Turkish only in regard to his passport; he studied filmmaking in Iran and is highly familiar with various aspects of Iranian literature and culture.”
Soysal said, “Although this film has been awarded at numerous international events, I believe that directors should go their own ways in filmmaking.”
He asked the filmmakers to avoid being influenced by international festival organizers who promote their own special agendas and encourage directors to make films based on the special themes.
Earlier in August, “Silenced Tree” won the award for best feature film at the Munich Film Awards. It also was selected as best film at the 2021 Torino Underground Cinefest in Italy.
The film is among nine productions being reviewed by Turkey’s Artistic Events Commission (SEK) for selecting the country’s submission to the Oscars 2023.
The other films under review include “Dirlik Regular” by Nesimi Yetik, “Kerr” by Tayfun Pirselimoglu, “Time of Impatience” by Aydin Orak, “If God Has Written, Let It Be Broken” by Baris Yös, “Dry Days” by Emin Alper, “Klondike” by Myrana Private Gorbach, “Bergen” by Mehmet Binay and Caner Alper and “Bandirma Missile Club” by Ömer Faruk Sorak.
However, Ukraine has already selected “Klondike”, a co-production with Turkey, for the 2023 Oscar race.