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.

A pregnant young woman who lives in a sort of cave is looking for her vanished sister, yet this plot summary hardly does justice to the charm, richness and radical nature of Burak Çevik’s first feature – all of which a result of the liberties he takes in creating an extravagant cinematic world to tell this story. The protagonist leaves her almost fairytale-like cave to set out across a river, taking up her sister’s trail. This trail leads her to a botanical garden, a bird shop, and a darkroom. The photo lab technician compares the effect of photographs to God turning Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt because she couldn’t resist the temptation of turning around to see Sodom be destroyed. Captured for eternity, transfixed for eternity – should we take it at face value when the protagonist tells the boatwoman that she is a part-time vampire? The dreamlike way in which the film digresses to show us a plant, a strip of negatives, or a table tennis match contributes considerably to the strange fascination it develops. Some things remain mysterious – which only makes us even more curious about what they might be referring to.
Anna Hoffmann
The Pillar of Salt / Tuzdan Kaide
2018, 71’, Turkish, Turkey


Berlinale Forum 2018

Skopje Film Festival
Istanbul Film Festival
Adana Film Festival
Ankara Film Festival
Eskisehir Film Festival
Bogaziçi Film Festival
Kaunas Film Festival
Rabat Film Festival
Sudan Film Festival
Cinemistica Festival
Madrid, La Casa Encendida

on The Pillar of Salt
by Burak Çevik for

Part I: Durmak Mümkün müdür?

Part II: El Yordamıyla Ama Elsiz

Part III: Biçimsel Kararlar

Part IV: Bir Yönetmen Filmini Kimin İçin Yapar?

‘‘Tuzdan Kaide travels by keeping a record of strange moments, familiar but foreign places, contactless encounters, untargeted monologues, undefined humming in a land that falls far away from the common cinema understanding centered on storytelling. It is obviously looking for something. What it is looking for is not something that can be reached through all these moments, places, words, sounds, but something hidden inside them. There are no functional steps bounced to reach a place in this film; There is a desire to hang in some sounds and images that promise an instant spell. What is sought is perhaps the origin of this desire; the secret of the charm of the cinema that gives rise to this desire.’’

From an interview by Ayça Çiftçi, Berke Göl for Altyazi Magazine. [Turkish]