While Cursed by Specters

@Images Festival, Canada
made, remade, unmade
May 21 , 1:30 pm— 3:00 pm


Burak Cevik (1993, Istanbul) founded Fol Cinema Society and curated experimental and arthouse film screenings. He was lecturer on Non-Fiction between 2018-2020 at Istanbul Bilgi University. His films The Pillar of Salt and Belonging premiered at Berlinale Forum in a row, 2018 & 2019. His video works were screened at various festivals such as Locarno, Toronto and New York Film Festival.

Screenings + Awards

Berlinale Forum 2019

New Directors / New Films 2019
Fajr Film Festival
Transilvania Film Festival
FIRST Film Festival
Sarajevo Film Festival
Thessaloniki Film Festival
Vancouver Film Festival
La Plata Festi-Freak
Sao Paulo Film Festival
Dokufest              + more

Bogaziçi Film Festival,
Best Film + Screenplay

Open City Documentary Festival,
Emerging International Filmmaker

PLUS: Screened various theathers around 15 cities in Turkey.

Belonging / Aidiyet

2019, 73’, Turkish

Belonging is one of the best undistributed films of 2019 accordingly Film Comment Magazine.
Aidiyet is a contemporary thriller that maps out a criminal case, though it’s the very opposite of a genre film. In a voice-over delivered in the sober tone of a confession, a man reconstructs the murder of his future mother-in-law. Acting on the wishes of her daughter, his lover, he hired a contract killer to murder her because she opposed their relationship. All that the film shows are the many locations that make up the tragedy: a tidy apartment, the bus station in Ankara, the parking lot, the hallway, the murder victim’s bed… On the way back to Istanbul, the motorway by night becomes a screen onto which the terrible inner torment of someone with a life on his conscience is projected. Then the film changes perspective and shows how the lovers met and what preceded the bloody deed.

These seemingly harmless images and conversations become charged by the viewer’s prior knowledge, as if in a psychosis. Why did the mysterious Pelin hate her parents so much? That’s a question the film doesn’t answer. In Aidiyet, Burak Çevik conducts an elegant, exciting, and instinctual experiment with the detective impulses of his audience.
Dorothee Wenner

A stylistically different quest drives Burak Çevik’s noir, Belonging. The film’s first part comes across as an essay film, and hints at why Çevik made the film. (...) Çevik knows instinctively that once he’s sent us down the path of trying to ferret out how Belonging’s introduction and the main act fit, we can’t escape the morbid fascination of trying to put it all together.

by Ela Bittencourt for

The writer-director Burak Çevik then flips the switch and the movie shifts into a more lyrical narrative register, one that fills in all the little nuances, most notably the intimate in- between moments that both explain and obscure so much.

by Manohla Dargis for The New York Times

Çevik’s second feature, Belonging, continues his existential explorations through the story of a crime committed on Istanbul’s outskirts. (...) Driven by a belief in cinematic language, Belonging is a therapeutic gesture that rises above psychological and moral judgments to navigate the complexity of family history.

by Yonca Talu for Film Comment
The dramatisation of this night-time encounter is excellent, thanks to the sustained dialogue between the protagonists, written as if it were at a kind of crossroads between Éric Rohmer and Richard Linklater.

by Carlota Moseguí for Cineuropa
Çevik’s script underscores the questions of fate with explict conversations about fortune-telling, as well as a poetry reading that segues into a bucolic dream sequence —conspicuously florid touches in this film of spare, unforced elegance. Nonetheless, Belonging impresses for its conceptual deftness and suggestive power.

by Lawrence Garcia for Film Comment’s Jan-Feb 2020 Issue