30. Uluslararası Film Festivali 2-17 Nisan 2011 Close
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Erdoğan Tokatlı

It was either 1964 or 1965, whose offspring was a "young generation of directors" in the Turkish Cinema. So Erdoğan Tokatlı, like Feyzi Tuna, Tunç Başaran and Bilge Olgaç, is a director from this group of "youngergeneration filmmakers". It was exactly 44 years ago, I, as a journalist-cinema critic, interviewed Tokatlı, this man who founded a cinema club with his friends, at Galatasaray High School, who has assisted eminent directors like Halit Refiğ and Memduh Ün, and who wrote his first feature screenplay, Aşka Susayanlar / Thirsty for Love, for Feyzi Tuna, one of his contemporaries. From that interview I quote these lines: "Using cinema, I want to show life as it is today, to try to explain why and how relationships between women and men come to a dead end. So, Son Kuşlar / Last Birds is a love story narrating this perspective of mine through what I call 'romantic realism.'" Last Birds is a directorial debut and the first film of a producer. The multi-hyphenate Erdoğan Tokatlı and I share so many special memories together. Tokatlı is a labourer of cinema who has written film critics and analyses in weekly or monthly magazines such as Pazar Postası, as well as in dailies such as Tanin and Akşam; also translating many books from French into Turkish; and putting up a marketing company, to release important films like Umut / Hope, Sürü / The Herd, Düşman / Enemy, Kara Çarşaflı Gelin / Black Veiled Bride and Maden / The Mine, in cinemas across many countries and to promote the Turkish Cinema. Tokatlı never compromised his basic, unassertive, and plain style since Güneşe Köprü / A Bridge to the Sun, adapted from Kemal Tahir, to Suçumuz İnsan Olmak / Our Guilt Is Desire of Life, adapted from Oktay Akbal and to 72. Koğuş / Ward Number 72 adapted from Orhan Kemal. He is now 68 years old. And unfortunately, due to some health problems, he won't be able to remember the Cinema Honorary Award given to him this year by the International İstanbul Film Festival... So, this is the dramatic fate of a director who served the Turkish Cinema for so many long years...

- Agâh Özgüç